​BRO used air effort to induct a Special Team for snow clearance and opened the Road and Pass more than a month before expectations

Manali: In a major breakthrough of opening up of passes in the North-Western border areas, the Border Road Organisation (BRO) opened up the 210 Km long Manali-Sarchu Road on NH 1D in Himachal Pradesh on Saturday.

Opening the Manali – Sarchu Road establishes the vital connect to Lahaul-Spiti District in Himachal Pradesh which further leads to Leh in Ladakh.

The pass and the road, in the past, generally opened in the last week of April, but with the successful movement of a road convoy on March 26 the BRO has opened the pass almost a month in advance which is a record in itself.

During the winters the Road normally remains closed for over 160-180 days in a year, but this time Project Deepak of BRO has opened the road in 117 days, as the last convoy had moved on 29 Nov 2021. The early opening is more creditable due to the fact that this year the region witnessed an exponential increase in snowfall as compared to last year.

Opening the Manali-Sarchu Road was premised on the successful conduct of snow clearance operations over one of the highest passes of the Zanskar Range, the formidable Baralacha La Pass (16,043 feet). The BRO adopted a two-prong approach, with the simultaneous deployment of snow clearance teams from two sides, one from Patsio to Baralacha La and the second from Sarchu to Baralacha La.

Since Sarchu is cut off from the rest of the country during winters, as part of proactive actions and planning by the Project winter stocking of snow clearance plant equipment and spares was done well in advance during November last year in Sarchu Camp. To achieve success and early opening of the pass, and the road, aerial induction of the snow clearance team was undertaken on 05 March 2022 from Sarchu. The team comprising of six skilled operators and technicians was dropped at Baralacha La to commence snow clearance operations.

As a precautionary measure in the initial days, the road will be opened only for movement of Army logistics convoys, for delivery of essential supplies for troops deployed in forwarding areas. Movement of all traffic will commence in the near future, on approval from the Civil Administration.

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Rahul Bhandari is Editor of TheNewsHimachal and has been part of the digital world for last 15 years.