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Posted at: Mar 15, 2019, 7:57 AM; last updated: Mar 15, 2019, 7:57 AM (IST)

Dharamsala-McLeodganj road sinking, hoteliers worried

Stretch only connecting link to Dalai Lama abode, Tibetan monasteries
Dharamsala-McLeodganj road sinking, hoteliers worried
The caved-in portion of the Dharamsala -McLeodganj road. Photo: Kamaljeet

Lalit Mohan
Tribune News Service
Dharamsala, March 14

The tourist season is about to pick up in the next couple of weeks. Those associated with the tourism industry are hopeful of a brisk business.

But there’s something they are worried about this time — the broken Dharamsala-McLeodganj road.

The 10-km stretch is vital for tourism in the region as it is the only connecting link between Dharamsala and McLeodganj. Thousands of domestic and foreign tourists visit McLeodganj to see the temple of the Dalai Lama and other Tibetan monasteries every year. However, the road has started sinking at many places, with potholes posing a threat to commuters.

The condition of the road is pathetic despite the fact that it was recently repaired by the PWD authorities and the National Highways Department. A senior bureaucrat said he had brought the matter to the notice of the higher authorities of the PWD. “It is unfortunate that despite lakhs being spent on the road just about two months ago, it is still in bad shape. It is difficult to even walk on the road,” he added.

The road is now part of the national highway. It was recently handed over by the PWD to the National Highways Department. The road has some active sliding zones that aggravated due to heavy monsoon this year. Its width is 20 ft, which has been reduced to 13 ft at certain places due to landslides.

The National Highways Department has failed to repair the sinking portions of the road, which is vital from security point of view as McLeodganj is the abode of the Dalai Lama and ait also has a cantonment.

The Army recently wrote to the district authorities of Kangra to stop plying heavy vehicles on the stretch.

It is learnt that the Army had proposed to the state government that since all those going to McLeodganj were using the cantonment road, an alternative road should be constructed.

On an average, about 1,200 vehicles ply on the Dharamsala-McLeodganj road every day. During the peak tourist season, the number of vehicles increases to about 5,000. Certain spots are prone to landslides.

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