Avoid Manali-Leh highway, snowfall likely
Manali: Avoid travelling on high mountain passes that connect this Himachal Pradesh town to Leh in Jammu and Kashmir after the end of October due to possible snowfall ahead, authorities said on Sunday.
"Chances of snowfall on the Manali-Leh National Highway-21 are high after October 31. We are advising the motorists to avoid the highway till the onset of summer next year," General Reserve Engineering Force commanding officer Praveen Yernurkar said.
GREF, a wing of the Border Roads Organisation, maintains the highway that passes through rugged Himalayan ranges, including the 475-km Manali-Leh highway that passes through Rohtang Pass (13,050 ft), Baralacha Pass (16,020 ft), Lachlungla Pass (16,620 ft) and Tanglangla Pass (17,480 ft).
If any vehicle got stranded due to untimely snowfall, the BRO would not be able to carry out snow-clearing operation after end of this month, Yernurkar said.
The BRO will withdraw its men and machinery deployed at various locations along the highway next month.
The weather at the passes is harsh. A sudden drop in the temperature, even in summer, can trigger winter-like conditions.
Every year after winter, GREF opens the highway by deploying more than 250 labourers.
The highway is strategically important to maintain supplies for the armed forces posted in the forward areas of Jammu and Kashmir's Ladakh region along the borders with China and Pakistan.