The Border Roads Organisation’s (BRO) refusal to clear the Rohtang pass has forced the locals in Lahaul valley in Himachal to look for alternatives. Some of the locals have taken it on themselves and have started collecting donations to clear the snow and resume traffic, Times of India has reported.
BRO had earlier intimated the local administration in Lahaul to make arrangements in advance before the pass received snow as it was not possible for the organisation to clear snow over and over again at Rohtang.
However, local residents claimed that the pass had little snow and could be cleared within two days, and BRO should do this for the people of Lahaul valley.
Meanwhile, locals are opting for the under-construction 8.8 km long Rohtang tunnel connecting Manali with Lahaul valley. Some of them manage to cross the tunnel but others have to return as tunnel management is not allowing free movement of people claiming it would not only affect work but was also very dangerous.
In the wake of this, some local residents of Lahaul have taken it upon themselves to clear snow off the Manali-Rohtang-Keylong highway. They have started collecting donations in order to hire snow cutters to clear the highway.
The campaign was started by Charandass Bhatt, former BDC president from Lahaul, by donating Rs 10,000 for the cause. Others who have donated include many panchayats, including Tandi and Mooling, taxi operators and local residents.
As per the report, more than Rs one lakh has been raised by residents so far. They have also informed the district administration about their intention. Residents are now planning to hire JCBs and Dozers to clear snow from Rohtang to resume traffic.
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