Manali-Leh highway shut owing to possible snowfall

Manali-Leh highway shut owing to possible snowfall
Source: IANS

Manali, Oct 17 (IANS) Authorities on Sunday closed the highway for two days that connects this Himachal Pradesh tourist resort with Leh in Ladakh owing to possible snowfall this week.

They also advised motorists to avoid travelling on high mountain passes till October 18.

"Chances of snowfall on the Manali-Leh National Highway-21 are high till October 18. We have closed the traffic movement beyond Darcha," Deputy Commissioner Neeraj Kumar told IANS.

The General Reserve Engineering Force, a wing of the Border Roads Organisation, maintains the Manali-Leh highway that passes through rugged Himalayan ranges, including the Baralacha Pass (16,020 ft), Lachlungla Pass (16,620 ft) and Tanglangla Pass (17,480 ft).

The weather at the passes is harsh. A sudden drop in the temperature, even in summer, can trigger winter-like conditions.

The highway is strategically important to maintain supplies for the armed forces posted in the forward areas of Ladakh region along the borders with China and Pakistan.