A large number of motorists who were stranded on both sides of the majestic Rohtang Pass near this Himachal Pradesh resort have been evacuated with the reopening of the roads, officials said Monday.
However, officials have advised tourists not to travel towards Rohtang Pass as chances of landslides due to heavy rains are high.
“The motorists, mainly the tourists, who were stranded for more than five hours due to massive landslides near Rani Nullah (5 km short of Rohtang from Manali), left for their places with the reopening of the roads Sunday evening,” District Tourism Officer Balbir Thakur told IANS.
He said no tourist has been stranded between Manali and Rohtang and the traffic has been plying normally.
Praveen Yernurkar, Officer Commanding of the Road Construction Company (RCC), a wing of the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) that maintains the Rohtang Pass, said the problem of traffic jams between Manali and the Rohtang Pass mainly occur during the weekends when a large number of tourists visit the place.
“It’s not advisable for the tourists to travel towards Rohtang during the rainy season. A 150-metre stretch near Rani Nallah is very tricky where on an average landslides are occurring every day,” he said.
To regulate traffic and minimise chances of traffic jams near Rohtang, 52 km from Manali, the district administration does not allow the tourists to drive down in their vehicles to Rohtang.
“As a number of tourist vehicles are responsible for accidents, we are not allowing them to travel in their own vehicles till Rohtang Pass. The tourists would have to hire a local taxi from Kothi (15 km from Manali) if they want to travel upto Rohtang,” said Deputy Commissioner B.M. Nanta.
Every Tuesday, the pass remains closed for all types of vehicles for the necessary repairs.
The 13,051-foot high Rohtang Pass - which remains blocked with heavy snowfall during winter - is on the Manali-Leh highway. It attracts thousands of tourists for adventure-related activities.