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Manali, April 25 (IANS) The Rohtang Pass, the gateway to adventure tourism destinations of Lahaul Valley in Himachal Pradesh, was cleared of winter snows Thursday but the traffic through the pass will be restored only by May first week, an official here said.
"The snow-clearing operation is over and now the repair of the road between Manali and Keylong is on. It will take almost 10 days to restore traffic on the stretch," Col. Yogesh Nair, commander of the 38 Task Force of the General Reserve Engineering Force (GREF), told IANS.
The GREF is a wing of the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) that maintains crucial highways in the mountainous border regions of country.
More than a dozen villages in the Lahaul Valley in the Himalayan slopes were cut off from the rest of the country since mid-December after the closure of the pass that attracts a number of backpackers, especially foreigners.
Till restoration of normal traffic on the 115-km stretch between Manali and Keylong, a few public transport buses will be allowed in the next few days, GREF officials said.
The majestic 13,051-foot high Rohtang Pass, located 52 km from here, lies on the 475-km Manali-Leh stretch.