The strategically located Kunzum Pass has finally been reopened after nine months. Connecting Kullu and Lahaul valley with Spiti Valley this stretch is a favourite of motorbike enthusiasts and trekkers. Situated at 15,060 feet above sea level Kunzum La is one of the most dangerous roads in the world. Every year this cold desert receives a large number of foreign and domestic tourists between May and October.
The road further extends to the Indo-China border at Sumdo and hence is under the jurisdiction of the Border Roads Organisation which plans to engaged its workforce and machinery in order to widen the road for the movement of buses.
Due to heavy snowfall, the Pass had been closed since October casing trouble for locals and tourists alike. Usually the snow is cleared and the road made motorable by May but this year there was a month-long setback. The tourism industry in the valley suffered as tourists intending to visit Spiti had to take a detour via the Kinnaur district. But the promise of restoration work on the road offered a glimpse of hope.
Despite the delay in opening the Pass and repair work the condition of the road is extremely poor. Cars are struggling to cross the area around Chhota Dara and being forced to return midway. Very few tourists are being able to reach their destination. The melting snow and monsoon is further worsening the state of the road. Huge boulders are lying all over and vehicles have no option but to drive over them.