Mandi, April 17
Former Congress MLA of Lahaul and Spiti Ravi Thakur said that the Border Roads Organisation had restored Manali-Leh highway for traffic on March 26 but it has not been opened by the district administration of Lahaul and Spiti for civil traffic beyond Darcha toward Leh. As a result, the tourism stakeholders are suffering.
He said that even when the BRO had restored the Manali-Leh highway much earlier as compared to previous years, the tourism stakeholders of Lahaul and Spiti have not benefited.
They have urged the district administration to restore this highway for civil traffic. This would give impetus to the sluggish tourism industry.
“Despite repeated requests by tourism stakeholders about the opening of the highway, the district administration was paying no heed to our demand. In such a scenario, how can government promote tourism in this tribal district. There is an urgent need to restore this highway for civil traffic earlier so that the tourism stakeholders of Lahaul valley would benefit,” he said.
Deputy Commissioner Neeraj Kumar said, “Human safety is priority of the district administration. For the past few days weather was inclement in the region. In such a situation opening of the highway for civil traffic may prove disastrous as it was the case in the past when tourists were left stranded on this highway for hours in night hours following blizzard.”
“Moreover, the Army has yet not conducted trial of its convoy on this highway to allow it to move Leh from Manali side. As soon as situation become favourable, this highway would be opened for civil traffic by the administration” said the DC.