The capital town of Shimla was cut off from the rest of the world for the fourth time again in this rainy season as Old Hindustan Tibet NH-5 now called Ambala-Shimla four-lane was declared off for vehicular traffic since Friday evening by the state administration.
A press release issued by the government early today said that the general public was informed that Chandigarh Shimla Highway (NH 05) is closed due to a landslide at Chakki Mor in the Parwanoo area.
Seeking cooperation from the people’s administration said that NHAI pressed heavy machinery to clear the debris from the highway.
The administration was again ordered to divert the vehicular traffic to narrow lengthy rural alternate roads due to rain.
Earlier last evening around 1935 hrs National Highway No.5 had been completely closed for traffic due to another landslide near Sonu Bungalow between Taradevi to Shoghi. However, the landslide was cleared by 0100 hrs.
It is not the first occasion when NH-5 has been closed and cut off. The road communication between the state capital and the rest of the country has been cut off since August 2. NH 5 is unfit to ply the traffic for all vehicles. Only on August 9 and 10, the highway was allowed to open for emergency, defense, light vehicles, vegetable small cartier, Tourist cabs, and passengers buses and unloading trucks.
Earlier, this rainy season highway remained off from July 10 to July 17 also.
The Union Government and previous BJP rule in Himachal didn’t leave any stone unturned to claim the credit or glorify achievement for the construction of Kiratpur-Manali and Kalka-Solan four lanes in the state now facing public wrath due to criminal negligence being adopted in the construction of both highways as construction proved a disaster as it completely washed away by heavy rainfall.
An FIR has been filed against NHAI and a company at Police Station Parwanoo for comprising the Environment and topographic realities of the state.
National Highway Authority which virtually accepted shortcomings in the Constitution of four lanes compromising road construction SOPs for hilly terrain couldn’t recommission this strategic and main highway of the state.
During the weekend or five days holidays about 5000 hospitality units were expecting a minor increase in the footfalls of tourists but due to frequent disruption in the vehicular traffic, they may have to curse their destiny again.
The State Hospitality sector is seeking to increase the frequency of air flights between Shimla and Chandigarh and introduce special sorties of Helicopter to the state capital.
It is worthwhile to mention that state air, railway, and road communication services are also affected due to rough and inclement weather conditions.
Kalka Shimla’s 96 km heritage rail line which is rarely affected in rough weather also have to suspend its services due to landslide and running of boulders on the track.