The route has been reopened for light motor vehicles after the PWD partially completed the snow clearance operation, said Chamba deputy commissioner DC Rana
Located at a height of 14,500ft (4,414 metres) in the Pir-Panjal range of the Himalayas, mighty Saach Pass in the Chamba district has been reopened for light motor vehicles after a gap of over six months.
Saach Pass’ road is the shortest route linking district headquarters of Chamba with remote Pangi valley.
“The route has been reopened for light motor vehicles after the PWD partially completed the snow clearance operation,” said Chamba deputy commissioner DC Rana.
He said the state highway would facilitate farmers of the tribal Pangi valley to transport their agriculture produce to the outside markets. “The work to open the route for heavy vehicles is still underway. It takes the road opening teams to cut deep snow to fully restore it for traffic,” he added.
The high mountain pass usually closes for traffic in October after it starts getting frequent spells of snowfall.
In winters, people of Pangi valley either travel 580km through Jammu or via Manali (632km) to reach Chamba. The third route is through Bhaderwah-Padri Jot, which is 332km long but it also remains closed in winters.
In case of medical emergency, the state government deploys helicopter services. Occasionally, the valley gets cut off from the rest of the state when the Manali and Kishtwar routes are closed due to snowfall.