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Manali – Rohtang Road One-Way

March 21,2013

Tourists will now have to keep patience to see snow at Rohtang pass this summer season as Manali has drafted strict regulations for vehicles plying on the Manali-Rohtang route. As per the plan, tourists will be able to enjoy the panoramic journey to Rohtang only between 6 am and 12 noon as vehicles before or after this time limit will not be allowed to go towards Rohtang pass.

Representatives of police, administration, Beopar Mandal, hoteliers and taxi union of Manali have now consented to a strict strategy to cope with the fierce traffic jam problem on this route. In peak summer season, vehicles take five to eight hours to cover the 51-km distance between Rohtang and Manali. The problem intensifies in the evening as vehicles from Rohtang leave for Manali and get stuck in the narrow road for hours. According to the new plan, vehicles from Manali can go towards Rohtang between 6 am and 12 noon and come back to Manali only after 12 pm.

"The time table for vehicles and making the route one-way will definitely help reduce traffic problems. This will make the journey more comfortable and fast. It will also reduce accidents and save the precious time of travelers," Kullu police chief Ashok Kumar said, adding that the restrictions would be lifted for ambulances and vehicles in emergency.

Though people have welcomed the plan, police have warned that those who violate the rule will be penalized by way of seizing their car. Also, 10 pm to 6 am will be zero traffic hours when no vehicles will be allowed on the highway. If tourists reach Manali after noon, they shall have to postpone their Rohtang visit to next day.

Sources said that some taxi operators were reportedly taking tourists to Rohtang early morning and even at midnight, so as to make multiple trips to Rohtang on the same day. Many tourists were complaining that the taxi drivers don't allow them to enjoy much time at Rohtang pass, saying that they will get stuck in traffic jam. Fixing of timings for cabs and other cars will now allow tourists to spend more time in snow, they said.

Police, tourism department and administration authorities are also planning to take effective steps to stop service providers from duping tourists. Instructions have been issued to adventure sports organizers and snow dress lenders to hang a rate-list in front of their kiosks, sources added.

Rohtang pass opens for pedestrians

Rohtang pass has officially opened for pedestrians from Wednesday, after setting up rescue posts on either side of the pass. Expert mountaineers stationed at the posts will monitor movements and help people in emergency. Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports director Randhir Singh Salhuria said that rescue posts have been set up at Koksar in Lahaul and Marhi in Kullu. "We strongly recommend people to get themselves registered at both the posts before and after they cross the pass so that we can ensure their safety," he said.

Rohtang pass is still covered under 30 to 50 feet snow and temperature is many notches below freezing point, sources said.

Source : Times of India