Tourists are stranded near Rothang Pass due to heavy sonwfall.

#1 Oct 23rd, 2010, 16:16
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#1
Hi friends,

Another natural calamity...

Around 40 tourists from Bengal are stranded near Rohtang Pass in Himachal Pradesh with a cloudburst and heavy snowfall over the last few days blocking roads.

This is the second time in a month that tourists from the state have run into trouble while holidaying in the hills. Last month’s landslides in Uttarakhand and Himachal had left scores of tourists stranded for days. There is still no trace of three missing trekkers.

Read this for more details...
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#2 Oct 23rd, 2010, 16:20
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#2
snowfall in rohtang in October?...unusual! I read yesterday that its snowing in Kashmir as well. Effects of climate change, i reckon.
#3 Oct 23rd, 2010, 16:57
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Yeah..it is really unexpected.
The local people were also not aware that this may happen at this time...
Last edited by Dhrubatara; Oct 23rd, 2010 at 17:52.. Reason: adding some more words
#4 Oct 25th, 2010, 21:26
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I read in the papers that a Bengali lady died, who was part of a tour group told to walk towards Manali by their bus driver.
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#5 Oct 25th, 2010, 22:32
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Hi,

Now, a new issue has cropped up.
The authorities are claiming that they provided warning of bad weather in those regions but the travel agents and tourist neglected their warning.

Some travel agents in Kolkata confirmed that it is true and so they changed their tour plans.

The issue is debatable...
#6 Oct 25th, 2010, 23:11
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Not too sure about authorities or administrations, but certainly IMD issued repeated warnings, atleast I saw 10/12 bulletins starting from 19th Oct onwards, with clear warning of a WD from 21st resulting into widespread rains in J&K and Himachal and that certainly means snow in upper reaches. One can still check those older bulletins in IMD archives.

Those who travel these regions specially with young kids and older people should be more vigilant atleast on the basic weather forecasts.
#7 Oct 25th, 2010, 23:31
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Hi kshil,

You are right. Since you are from Kolkata you'll know better about the travel agents here and how they are growing like mushrooms. Now, it had been a easy way to earn money for some people. The unawareness of the tourists is their capital.

I feel the tourists themselves should be more aware before travelling not only about climate but also in all aspects that is required to travel.
#8 Oct 25th, 2010, 23:44
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#8
100% agree with you, Operators usually play with the sole capital of our unwillingness to learn. For my next trip, I have started planning and gather info and just to gather more info, I met one very famous tour operators in Kolkata. They are quite reputed, they gave me lots of misinformation and also a quote of 2500/- per day for a particular location, which I already booked for 350/- per day. This is still nothing compared to the wrong info that could take your life.

I hope the awareness would grow fast among the tourists.

Cheers!!
#9 Oct 25th, 2010, 23:59
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Hi,
Exactly, you just took the words from my mouth. I never travel with travel agents. I always do home work properly before a tour. I only once had a bitter experience with a travel agent here in Kolkata. I went to him to book a hotel in Ujjain during Kumbh Mela 2004. I asked about the rates and also told him that their is Kumbh Mela at that time. He said there was no problem and took the whole money from me and gave me booking slip with the hotel's name.
But, when I called the hotel to confirm about my booking, to my utter surprise I discovered that no booking was made in my name. So, I called the agent...now that guy told me that I'll have to pay more money because the of the Kumbh Mela otherwise I can take back the money.

Now, can you imagine....

I straight went to the Bowbazar P.S. and lodged a complaint against the agent. It worked. The agent was called to the Police Station and asked for clarification. His excuse was that the hotel is demanding more money. But that was not my problem. The duty officer told him to confirm the booking or he will start a specific case against him. He asked for time.

After 10 days follow up, he submitted that he can book our room in some other hotel of the same range. So, the dispute ended here.

But for many people this would be really troublesome to visit the Police Station regularly and follow up. Everybody loves peace, when they are paying for some service they should get it.

This is the situation....:confus ed:
#10 Oct 26th, 2010, 00:27
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Dhrubatara, you are very right, not many people would take the tough yet correct route you took. Sometimes people don't bother because of time / effort involved or fearing corruption even with the police or administration. Unfortunately India is not very well known for delivering timely justice. So atleast people should be aware so that they can understand if they are being cheated grossly or not. Sometimes or manytimes it's our fault to try something so ambitious with so little or no effort from our end and entirely depending on these agents.

Govt recently started thinking of putting some regulations to bind these operators but I doubt if they would be successful if tourists are not aware. I heard on same day a group of people planning to for a package tour, spending their 90% of time arguing/discussing with the operators on menus of lunch and dinner

Cheers!!
Last edited by kshil; Oct 26th, 2010 at 02:06..
#11 Oct 26th, 2010, 01:07
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Friend,

It happens only in India...lolz
#12 Oct 26th, 2010, 07:43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snonymous View Post I read in the papers that a Bengali lady died, who was part of a tour group told to walk towards Manali by their bus driver.
She was told to walk towards manali?? from rohtang???. That is suicidal, especially in inclement weather. I got caught in a snow storm in rohtang while our car was 3km down on the road due to jammed traffic. The moment i realized the weather was closing in, i quickly started walking down and was lucky enough to reach the car in time. I would have had the same fate as this lady if i was 5 more minutes out in the open.
#13 Oct 26th, 2010, 11:28
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#13
Thats what it said in the papers. How true the news reports are, who knows but the fact is that the poor lady died. I havent been to that part of Himachal so I have no idea what it is like there.

This seems to be a perennial problem with snowfall and landslides in Himachal. Im no geologist but anyone can see that the rock type there is flaky, crumbly slate and in April near the Narkanda area we saw NREGS workers repairing landslide damaged roads everywhere and everyday so it must be a regular feature. I read also about Sonia Gandhi inaugurating the work on a proposed tunnel through the mountain at Rohtang.

With tourism being such a mainstay in Himachal, it is about time they evolved a reasonably permanent solution for their roads.
#14 Oct 30th, 2010, 12:58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prince09 View Post snowfall in rohtang in October?...unusual! I read yesterday that its snowing in Kashmir as well. Effects of climate change, i reckon.
I wouldn't agree on that : I've crossed Rothang with a light snow cover in early September, as well in October.You'll see a number of other examples on my blog.

I came in to Leh two days ago from Manali and was being as realistic about it as possible : I carried full winter gear , including tent , shovel and storm kitchen.
#15 Oct 31st, 2010, 10:01
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Yes, from years of experience in Ladakh, snow on Rohthang is not at all unusual in October. It can even happen in the middle of summer in rare years, but a few days of snow in October is normal.

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