The highway linking this Himachal Pradesh tourist resort with Leh in Jammu and Kashmir was partially reopened for traffic on Wednesday after remaining shut for over six months owing to heavy snow, an official said.
"The snow between Manali and Leh has been almost cleared and it's now fit for plying of small vehicles," an official of the 38 Task Force of the General Reserve Engineering Force (GREF) told IANS here.
GREF is a wing of the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) that maintains crucial highways in the country.
The official said the highway would reopen for tourist and heavy vehicles within a week or so.
The 475-km Manali-Leh highway passes through Rohtang Pass (13,050 ft), Baralacha Pass (16,020 ft), Lachlungla Pass (16,620 ft) and Tanglangla (17,480 ft).
It is crucial for the movement of the armed forces and their supplies to forward areas in Ladakh.
BRO's Project Deepak is responsible for clearing snow on the 222-km Sarchu-Manali highway. Its Project Himank does the job on the 253-km Leh-Sarchu highway.
An official of the Himachal Road Transport Corp said it would take 10 to 15 days to restart bus services between Delhi and Leh via Manali and Keylong.
Meanwhile, the 13,050 feet high Rohtang Pass, the main tourist attraction and located 52 km from here, was opened for tourists on May 23 after completion of snow-clearance work.
Only 1,200 taxi or private vehicle permits -- 800 petrol vehicles and the remaining diesel -- are issued online daily on a first-come-first-served basis to visit the Rohtang Pass.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)