The snow clearing work on Manali Leh highways has been started by BRO. Due to the region experiencing very mild snowfall this year, BRO was able to start the clearning from both sides of Rohtang.
Col KP Rajendra Kumar, Commander, 38 Border Road Task Force (BRTF), Manali, said it was for the first time the snow-clearing process started from near Marhi as the area had experienced less snowfall this year. He said, “We are hoping to reach Rohtang top from both sides by the end of this month and restore the 222-km-long stretch up to Sarchu by April, while the remaining stretch would be opened to vehicular traffic by June.
He said three teams comprising 90 personnel had been deployed at Marhi, Koksar and Jispa for this operation. The Commander said dozens of dozers, snow cutters and excavators had been pressed into service to clear the road.
While last year the restoration of the highway, which is strategically important from the defense point of view, was delayed due to prolonged unfavorable weather conditions, this year the BRO had commenced the snow-clearing operation on schedule.
What this means is that the entire stretch of Manali to Leh may be declared open a little earlier that usual this year. With that being said, still to be on the safer side, I would advise anyone who is planning to travel to Ladakh this year to not plan their travel from Manali to Leh or vice versa any earlier than late June. There is always a high chance that one of the pass on the route may still receive snow and the road may temporarily close. Add to that the fact that the road remains in a terrible condition until early July.