The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) has decided to open the Rohtang pass after residents of Lahaul forcibly entered the Rohtang tunnel on Monday (19 November), The Tribune has reported.
As per the report, around 80 people, including women and children, had entered the tunnel. The residents were waiting since morning without food to reach Manali via the Rohtang tunnel as the Rohtang pass had been closed since 12 November due to heavy snowfall.
However, the tunnel management didn’t allow them to enter the tunnel after which the residents entered the tunnel forcibly around midnight. They had only covered three km stretch of the tunnel when many of them started suffocating and fell unconscious. A rescue operation was then launched by the Lahaul administration.
Two of the rescued persons were taken to Manali, from where one of them was referred to Chandigarh.
Lahaul-Spiti deputy commissioner Ashwini Kumar Chaudhari said the tunnel was not a safe passage and was used only in emergency cases. He said people had been advised to stay calm as the BRO had started clearing the snow.
Additional Chief Secretary, PWD, Revenue and Disaster Management, Manisha Nanda said that the state government had taken up the matter with BRO and the organisation has started work on reopening the pass from Wednesday (21 November).