Landslide in Kinnaur & Lahaul-Spiti due to heavy rainfall, vehicular traffic diverted through border roads

 People of Kinnaur district which is less landlocked compared to a few parts of Lahaul-Spiti never realized that their Border roads most of them maintained by the Indian Army construction wing BRO (Border Roads Organizations) could felicitate them more compared to the wide and maintained Highways in the mainland.

After recent rain NH-5 and NH-3 which are converted as four lanes between Ambala-Shimla and Chandigarh to Manali couldn’t withstand as Highways remained off for months. Even the classical example of the century-old Shimla-Kalka Rail couldn’t made functional in the last two months.

If we have to guide tourists and travelers to take the safest and hassle-free route it is tribal and village roads especially National Highway 505, Manali-Leh NH-3. 

District administration Kinnaur has ordered to use of 650 km long Highways between Recong-peo to Chandigarh Via Tabo and Kaza instead of 320 km  NH-5.

A landslide near Nigulasri in Kinnaur which cave in the 300-meter part of NH-3 forced Kinnaur district and Lahaul-Spiti to rely on more rugged and rough terrain border roads to ferry essential commodities and Transport Agricultural Produce to market.

Shimla is now open to Tourists but traffic snarls and given the volume of Vehicular traffic it is equally troublesome to visit Tourist destinations.

Between Kalka- Shimla NH is not fully opened at Chakimod and it was taking hours to facilitate heavy vehicles. Apple season and allowing buses in NH frequently congest the highway.

It was during monsoon season before the onset of winter that vehicular traffic remained open on all the border roads compared to the mainland where about 50 bridges and hundreds of roads are still unfit for fully operationalized traffic.

In Mandi and Kullu districts about 250 school buildings are either affected by heavy rainfall as their school building damaged due to landslides or roads and paths leading to schools are washed away.

Despite the receding of Monsoon rains many schools couldn’t operationalize in rain-affected regions and the safety of students may affect their turnout. The rain-affected state not only facing heavy losses to hospital and tourism business but all sectors of the economy are facing burnt by heavy rainfall.

The administration bracing to maintain the supply of LPG, essential commodities, and supply perishables vegetables to market by diverting vehicular traffic and relying on transshipment. About half a dozen places valley bridges and power spans are being installed to connect the snapped region. 

Hill stations including Dharmshala, Dalhousie, Shimla, Kasauli Chail, Kufri, and Narkanda are reopened for Tourists with the receding of Monsoon rains.

The baring tribal road between Keylong-Kaza-Tabo to Recong-peo-Sangla is open but between Mandi and Kullu-Manali vehicular traffic couldn’t restored to normal. Similarly, NH-5 is recently affected at Nigulasri. One could not reach Recong-peo from Rampur to Recong-peo on NH-5. 

Damage caused by recent heavy rain would take many months for state authorities and the National Highway Authority of India to bring it to normal.

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