Frequent landslides on NH have Kullu villagers in panic : The Tribune India

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Frequent landslides on NH have Kullu villagers in panic

Result of 4-laning between Deodhar & Chowki Dobhi villages in Kharal Valley

Frequent landslides on NH have Kullu villagers in panic

A landslide blocks a portion of the Bhuntar-Ramshila national highway at Deodhar in Kullu. File Photo



Abhinav Vashisht

Kullu, March 31

Frequent landslides between Ramshila and Tapu Pul (Shani Mandir) after the side-cutting of a hill to broaden the road for the four-laning of the national highway (NH) have created panic among residents of Deodhar and Chowki Dobhi villages of Kharal Valley, opposite the Kullu town.

Rock strata has become loose

The four-laning was started by the National Highways Authority of India in 2017 and completed in 2019, after which rock strata at many places became loose and the area became prone to landslides. Many houses in the area were razed and many developed huge cracks, making these inhabitable

Barricades collapsed

In 2020, barricades were set up on the side of the highway, but now these have also collapsed and the problems of the residents have increased again. — Manoj, A resident

The four-laning was started by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) in 2017 and completed in 2019, after which rock strata at many places became loose and the area became prone to landslides. Many houses in the area were razed and many developed huge cracks, making these inhabitable.

One-way vehicular movement on the NH was blocked in Deodhar due to a landslide on Tuesday. Boulders, along with portions of already cracked retaining wall, fell on the road. The movement of the vehicles continued on the other lane and the blockade was lifted after about four hours.

Landslides have been frequent in Deodhar for the past several years. Instructions were given by the administration to the NHAI to prevent landslides in Deodhar. The NHAI also took the help of experts from the IIT Roorkee, but the problem of landslides in the area could not be solved.

The NHAI authorities had, in June last year, stated that an estimate of Rs 25 crore was prepared for erecting retaining walls at vulnerable places so that landslides could be prevented in future as per the report by the IIT experts and it was sent to the higher authorities for approval, but nothing had been done on ground so far.

The retaining walls and stone crate fences erected by the NHAI on the roadside have got uprooted and have now reached the middle of the road. If the problem is not resolved soon, landslides may cause more damage in the coming days.

Kullu SDM Vikas Shukla said instructions were given to the NHAI in this regard.

Residents have raised the issue several times and pleaded with the government, administration and the NHAI for a concrete solution to the issue. Residents said they had approached the authorities concerned to erect stone fences where the cutting was being undertaken in 2017, but to no avail.

A resident Manoj said the road connecting Deodhar village to Shani Mandir had collapsed completely. He said, “In 2020, barricades were set up on the side of the highway, but now these have also collapsed and the problems of the residents have increased again. So far, all efforts of the NHAI to stop the landslides have proved insufficient.”

The residents lamented that they had only received assurances and nothing concrete had been done on the ground yet. They said the remedies suggested by the IIT experts should be carried out at the earliest so that they don’t have to suffer more damages during the rainy season. They said the landslides also pose a big danger to the vehicles plying on the NH.

#Kullu


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