Permit must for Manali-Leh travel by non-Himachal vehiclesJune 26th, 2011 - 10:46 pm ICT by IANS
Manali, June 26 (IANS) If you are travelling on the treacherous 475-km-long Himalayan highway that links this tourist resort town of Himachal Pradesh to Leh in Jammu and Kashmir, do not forget to get a permit.
The Himachal Pradesh government has made it mandatory for people, travelling in a vehicle that does not bear Himachal Pradesh registration number, to get a permit.
“Since the Manali-Leh highway passes through the most rugged and inhospitable terrain of trans-Himalayas, we are ensuring that only those drivers are allowed to drive who are familiar with the local topography and weather conditions,” District Tourism Officer Balbir Thakur told IANS Sunday.
Government officials said the decision was taken Saturday to regulate traffic and minimise chances of accidents on the highway. They said vehicles coming from out of state are more responsible for accidents and so they must get a permit.
“If a vehicle is not registered with the state, it’s mandatory to get the permission from the sub-divisional magistrate’s office in Manali during working hours (from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.), except Sundays and second Saturday every month,” he said.
Thakur said movement of heavy vehicles, including trucks, has been banned during daytime to regulate traffic.
“The trucks have been allowed to ply only from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m.,” he said.
Deputy Commissioner B.M. Nanta said tourist vehicles would not be allowed to reach even the famous Rohtang Pass, just 52 km from here, lying on the Manali-Leh highway.
“As a number of tourist vehicles are responsible for accidents, we are not allowing them to travel in their own vehicles till Rohtang Pass. The tourists would have to hire a local taxi from Kothi (15 km from Manali), if they want to travel upto Rohtang,” he added.
The strategic Manali-Leh highway reopened June 1 after remaining closed for over six months owing to heavy snow.
Every Tuesday it remains closed for all types of vehicles owing to necessary repairs.
Suresh Rana, a six-time winner of the motor rally Raid-de-Himalaya, said the entire Manali-Leh route is tough and the pressure on the motorists is extreme. It passes through cold deserts of Lahaul and Spiti and Ladakh.
The non-stop journey in a four-wheeler between Manali and Leh takes 16-18 hours.
The road crosses four high mountain passes in the cold desert - Rohtang Pass (13,050 ft), Baralacha Pass (16,020 ft), Lachlungla Pass (16,620 ft) and Tanglangla Pass (17,480 ft).
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- Rohtang Pass reopens for traffic - Aug 06, 2012
- Manali-Leh road link may be used round-the-year - Jun 26, 2010
- Rohtang Pass reopens after five months - May 25, 2011
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Tags: deputy commissioner, district tourism, government officials, heavy snow, heavy vehicles, himachal pradesh government, himalayas, inhospitable terrain, jammu and kashmir, kashmir, magistrate, minimise, nanta, registration number, rohtang, tourism officer, tourist resort, tourist vehicles, types of vehicles, weather conditions