Rohtang Pass to be Opened for Tourists From June 1

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Shimla:  The mighty Rohtang Pass, gateway to Lahaul valley, will be opened for tourists from June 1.

The 13,050 feet pass was briefly opened on May 3 on the eve of Lok Sabha polls but it was closed again due to snowfall, said Rakesh Kanwar, Deputy Commissioner of Kullu.

It was closed as with the rise in temperature, the threat of landslides and glacier movement had increased and tourist vehicles were not allowed to go to beyond Marhi on Manali-Rohtang road in compliance with directions of the National Green Tribunal, Kanwar said.

While issuing orders under the direction of the National Green Tribunal, the deputy commissioner banned all the commercial activities like snow-scooter, tyre-tube game, dhabas and tea-stall between Kothi-Rohtang.

He said the environment friendly food stalls of Himachal Pradesh Tourism department and the people who have been allowed by the Supreme Court will run their stalls there.

The Deputy Commissioner has asked the forest department to stop all the activities which violate the norms of National Green tribunal between Kothi-Marhi.

He said that special police force will be given to the department to ensure the strict action.

No tourist vehicle will be allowed beyond Marhi on the Manali-Rohtang road from May 22 to May 31 and the vehicles going to Lahaul-Spiti will have to obtain permit to cross Rohtang Pass which can be taken from green tax barrier at Chauri-Bihal and Shuru, SDM office Manali, tourist information center Manali and in the office of HPTDC, he said.

Kanwar said that to control the number of vehicles, only 200 tourist vehicles will be allowed from Kothi to Marhi between 5 am and 7 am and they would have to Koti barrier by 12 noon.

He said that after the return of first batch of 200, another fleet of tourist vehicles will be sent at 1 PM with condition to return to Koti by 7 in the evening.

The tourism department will ply buses between Gulaba and Marhi to facilitate tourists and Lahaul bound heavy vehicles will have to cross Kothi before 6 am with valid permits. 

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