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Jaypee University of Information Technology

Crack Near Sissu on Manali-Leh Highway Poses Risk, Locals Demand Road Expansion

Sissu, April 3: The occurrence of a crack near Sissu on the Manali-Leh Highway has posed a threat to the road. Following fresh snowfall last week, a sudden crack has emerged, posing a challenge for the Border Roads Organisation (BRO). Now, the locals have demanded the expansion of the Telang-Shurutang-Nursery road as an alternative route. They fear that the crack near Sissu could impact the upcoming tourism season. In response, the villagers have urged the administration to bring the road connecting Telang, Shurutang, and Nursery under the jurisdiction of the BRO for its expansion.

According to residents Jagdish Chand, Jagat Singh, Anil, Karam Singh, Om Prakash, Manoj, and Vishal, if the Public Works Department (PWD) entrusts an eight-kilometer stretch of road from Telang to Shurutang to the BRO, tourism and travel in rural areas will flourish, ensuring safer journeys. Sissu Panchayat Pradhan Rajeev mentioned that on Wednesday, the BRO commander and his team inspected the damaged road. Discussions were held with the Panchayat, Forest Department, and Water Resources Department regarding measures to repair the road.

Rajeev informed that starting Thursday, the BRO will begin excavating to install safety barriers at the Selfie Point and will also begin constructing barriers from the Chandra River side. Sissu Police Chowki in-charge ASI Uttam Chand stated that the crack in the road poses an increased risk, and police personnel are stationed on both sides with one-way vehicle movement. Vehicles are being allowed to pass only after assessing the situation. He urged people, especially tourists, not to travel during the night until the road condition improves.

Shinkula Darr, located 16,500 feet above sea level, is set to reopen for the passage of small vehicles on Thursday. Last year, this route was reopened on March 23, breaking previous records. However, due to heavy snowfall in February and March this year, the reopening of the pass has been delayed. In 2022, this route was opened on April 17. The Border Roads Organisation’s 126 RCC began snow-clearance work on March 4. However, reopening this route is not easy. Last year, three labourers of the organisation got trapped near Shinkula Pass by an avalanche.

According to the Border Roads Organisation, the Manali-Darcha-Janskar route passing through Shinkula Darr is extremely sensitive. Several sections have snow walls as high as 20 to 25 feet, which need to be cut to proceed further. Despite the challenges, personnel of the organisation have been diligently working to reopen Shinkula Pass. Once the route is open, people can travel between Manali-Kelong-Darcha-Shinkula Pass and Padum in Ladakh. Lieutenant Colonel Arvind Kumar of 126 RCC stated that their personnel have worked hard to reopen Shinkula Pass. They have been working day and night in sub-zero temperatures. The snow clearance work was completed on Wednesday, and if the weather remains favourable, Shinkula Pass will reopen soon.

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