Some residents of Lahaul-Spiti forcibly entered the under-construction Rohtang tunnel around midnight on Tuesday, after waiting all day to gain access and travel to Manali. However, people who entered the tunnel fell unconscious halfway through the 8-kilometre long tunnel. They were later rescued by officials of the administration.
According to reports, around 80 people had been waiting at the North portal of the tunnel since 5 am on Tuesday, without the facility of food or shelter. They were demanding access to cross the tunnel on foot from the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) since the closure of the Rohtang Pass, but had not been granted permission, according to a report by The Times of India.
After entering the tunnel around midnight, a few of the residents lost consciousness due to suffocation. Reports said that the district administration sealed the tunnel after the incident.
The Tribune reported that one person was taken to a hospital in Manali, while the rest of the people who became unconscious were taken back to Lahual by the authorities. The people who entered the tunnel included women and children.
The Times of India report said, "The BRO has asked the Lahaul-Spiti administration to take legal action against those who incited people to enter the under-construction tunnel without caring for their safety and security." The report also said that residents claimed the support of agriculture minister Ram Lal Markanda for gaining access to the tunnel.
With inputs from agencies
Updated Date: Nov 21, 2018 11:59 AM