Manali, Aug 6 (IANS): Rohtang Pass, the crucial high altitude road link between Manali and Keylong in Himachal Pradesh, has been re-opened for traffic after remaining closed for two days due to landslides triggered by a cloudburst, an official said here Monday.
"Traffic was restored Sunday evening and all stranded vehicles have been cleared," an official 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 country.
The cloudburst occurred in the hills overlooking Manali Friday night, damaging two bailey bridges near Palchan and Dhundi villages, 25 km from here.
A bailey bridge is a portable pre-fabricated truss bridge, designed for use by military engineering units.
"Work on reconstructing the bridges is on. But the traffic on an alternate bridge in Palchan diverted. Still the road is slippery and we are advising motorists to exercise caution while travelling," the official added.
The majestic Rohtang Pass, located 52 km from Manali at an altitude of 13,051 feet, lies on the Manali-Leh National Highway-21.
The idyllic and pastoral settings of the Himalayas beyond the pass have been drawing an increasing number of backpackers, especially foreigners, for adventure-related activities like mountain biking, rock-climbing and cross-jungle trekking.