Manali, The Hush Post: A 25-seater electric bus finally made its way through the serpentine roads to the famous Rohtang Pass. Though it was flagged off a month and a half back, it could only ply after finishing the paper work and after the taking the other necessary clearance from the National Green Tribunal (NGT). It did not ply on Tuesday being a maintenance day for the Border Road Organisation (BRO). It will become a regular feature from today onwards, as and when the weather gods allow.
The bus leaves for the Rohtang Pass at 8:30 am from the Manali Bus Stand. It takes two and a half hours to reach the Pass where it will stop for two hours. The two-way fare seems to be quite reasonable as compared to the permit fee of Rs 550 and hassle-full permission required for use of private car. The taxi operators on the other hand fleece tourists charging a whooping Rs 5000. Meanwhile, the mercury has dipped down 3 notches below the normal temperature with icy cold winds sweeping the region. Light snow had been reported in Lahaul Spiti a few days back and weather is likely to play spoilsport till about November 19. In a surprise move, the government has decided to allow vehicular movement between Kullu and Lahaul via the Rohtang Pass till Dec 31 depending on the weather conditions. Generally the route is closed for vehicular traffic from November 15 onwards. As usual, rescue posts have been set up at Marhi on the Manali side and Koksar on the Lahaul side for any unforeseen incidents.