Rohtang Pass opened 3 weeks in advance
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Essentials can be moved to Lahaul, Spiti in Himachal
- The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) opened the Rohtang Pass, three weeks in advance, for transporting essential supplies and relief materials to the Lahaul and Spiti districts of Himachal Pradesh amid the lockdown.
- The pass is at 13,058 feet on the eastern Pir Panjal Range of the Himalayas. The first convoy of vehicles, carrying essential supplies and approximately 150 farmers, to the Lahual Valley is officially opening the Rohtang Pass this year.
- The operation to clear snow is carried out every year as the pass remains snow-bound for almost six months, from mid-November to mid-May, isolating Lahaul and Spiti districts from the rest of the country.
- Last year, the Rohtang Pass was kept open till December 12. The valley depends on air traffic for external logistics and supplies during winters.
- On April 11, the Himachal Pradesh government approached the Director-General, BRO, to speed up snow clearance to help farmers return to start cultivation and transport essential supplies and relief materials in the wake of COVID-19.
- The Army said blizzards, freezing temperatures and avalanches delayed the operation, but teams worked round the clock.