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Posted at: Jun 16, 2015, 1:13 AM; last updated: Jun 15, 2015, 11:09 PM (IST)

Poor road condition in Kinnaur sparks protest

Farmers warn of fast, road blockade if govt does not heed their demand

Tribune News Service

Shimla, June 15

People today took out a rally to draw the attention of the state government towards the pathetic condition of roads in Kinnaur district which are perilous for commuting and transportation.

Protesters also submitted a memorandum to the Chief Minister through the Deputy Commissioner and served a 15-day ultimatum on him to make the roads traffic worthy or pay compensation to farmers and horticulturists for damage to crops due to delay in transportation.

The residents of upper areas of Kinnaur, who gathered under the banner of the Hangrang Sangharsh Samiti, demanded immediate action to improve the accident-prone sites to ensure that the commuters faced no hassles and transportation of agri-produce was smooth.

If the government failed to repair the road stretch at Urni before the pea marketing season, farmers should be paid compensation or provide the airlifting facility for transportation of crops.

“It seems that the government is indifferent towards the plight of the people, especially over major traffic bottlenecks at the Urni slope and Purvani Jhula sites, prone to frequent landslides”, president of the samiti Shanta Kumar Negi alleged and warned of a big agitation as the marketing season would commence by June-end and the farmers would not be able to hold their perishable crops.

“We had given a memorandum to the government a month ago also but nothing has been done and if the government turns a blind eye to our problems, the villagers will start fast and resort to road blockade”, he said.

President, Himlok Jagriti Manch, RS Negi said the roads had become dangerous for the vehicular traffic and more than 20 lives had been lost in road accidents in the past one year.

“It is shocking that the National Highway-5 is being run through 21-km diversion road from Chulling Nallah via Urni village to Tapri for the past one year and no effort has been made to widen the main road”.

Apple growers beyond Urni were forced to transport their produce via diversion road last year also, resulting in increased cost of transportation besides damage caused during loading and unloading of apple boxes, said another resident Prithvi Negi.

The Kinnaur residents were also enraged as the state government paid no heed to their suggestion for changing the alignment of flushing tunnel of the 1000-mw Karchham-Wangtoo project and converting it into transport tunnel.

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