Manali-Leh national highway
, a crucial road in the Lahaul-Spiti district, suffered a major collapse near
, leading to a disruption in traffic.
The restoration work for this vital route is expected to take some time. Due to the swollen rivers and nullahs, all major roads in Lahaul-Spiti are blocked, prompting the police and administration to advise people to stay indoors and avoid unnecessary travel. As a result, hundreds of people are currently stranded across various parts of the district.
The strategic importance of the Manali-Leh road lies in its role as the primary supply route for defense forces during the summer season. With a section of the road damaged, the supply chain to Leh and the forward areas will be affected until the road is repaired.
The superintendent of police in Lahaul-Spiti, Mayank Chaudhry, who is present at Chandratal to rescue stranded tourists, has informed DGP Satwant Atwal that approximately 300 people, including over 200 tourists and campaign staff, are stranded at Chandertal. Chaudhry assured that all individuals are safe and provided with proper shelter, food, and medicine. Efforts are being made to inform the families of the stranded tourists about their well-being.
According to reports, around 55 individuals, including school staff and children from Kullu, are stranded at Tandipul. The residents of Goshal village have offered accommodation and food to all of them at the Tupchaling Buddhist Monastery. Similarly, around 16 stranded people from Banjar area have found refuge in Goshal village, where the locals have made arrangements for their well-being.
Further information from Lahaul-Spiti police reveals that heavy rain and snowfall in the district, particularly near the Sarchu area, led to a roadblock near Baralacha Pass, resulting in the stranding of several people at Sarchu. Since mobile connectivity was limited, the police team at the Sarchu police check post arranged for their accommodation, food, and essential medicines with the assistance of the nearby army camp and camping site. Fortunately, everyone is safe, and no loss of life or property has been reported.
DGP Satwant Atwal tweeted that approximately 70 tourists en route to Manimahesh Lake in the Bharmaur region of Chamba district are stranded. Contact has been established with them, and rescue teams are en route to assist them. The stranded individuals have sufficient shelter and food.
In light of the incessant rainfall in Himachal Pradesh over the past 48 hours, causing widespread disruption to normal life, Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu is personally overseeing the situation. He maintains constant communication with district authorities and closely monitors rescue operations.
“I have instructed the state administration to take all necessary measures for rescuing stranded individuals. I am in constant contact with local authorities, and public representatives, and personally overseeing the situation. Our government stands with the people of the state during this distressing time. I urge everyone to avoid unnecessary travel and stay away from streams and rivers,” stated Sukhu, appealing to the public.