Landslides on NH pose threat to commuters : The Tribune India

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Landslides on NH pose threat to commuters

NHAI to start work after polls; villagers sore

Landslides on NH pose threat to commuters

Debris lies on the Bhuntar-Ramshila NH at Deodhar in Kullu.



Abhinav Vashisht

Kullu, April 8

Residents of Kullu and Manali are unhappy over the National Highways Authority of India’s (NHAI) decision to start the repair of retaining walls on the landslide-prone Ramshila-Bhuntar stretch of NH-3 after the Model Code of Conduct ends.

One-way vehicular movement was affected on the four-lane highway at Deodhar on the Bhuntar-Ramshila road due to a landslide recently.

While the debris had been partially cleared to restore the traffic in single lane, the damaged retaining walls were hanging precariously, posing a risk to commuters.

Ankur, a resident of nearby Shangribag, said while the MCC would end on June 4, the NHAI should approach the Election Commission of India for relaxation. The road repair was not a new work and had been done earlier also, he reasoned.

Khem Chand, a resident of Kharal valley, opposite Kullu town, said, “Immediate safety measures should be taken to ensure safety of commuters.” He added that if appropriate steps were not taken soon to check landslides, the debris could cause major damage to the other side of the four-lane highway as well. Vinay, a tourism beneficiary from Manali said, “The tourist season is in full bloom here from mid-April to June and the bad condition of the road will have an adverse impact on the tourism industry.”

Residents of Deodhar village have called for appropriate steps on war-footing to check the recurrence of landslides.

Locals lose patience

As per the villagers, landslides had started after the road widening job was taken up in 2017. “Some houses were razed to the ground and many others developed huge cracks, rendering them inhabitable. We have lost our life’s earnings and have not been provided any compensation as the NHAI says our land was not acquired for the road widening. We had demanded compensation from the NHAI and the government, but have received nothing even after seven years,” they added.

The NHAI authorities had earlier stated that the team of IIT-Ropar had suggested measures to prevent landslides and an estimate of Rs 74 crore had been prepared. However, the NHAI was yet to say anything on the compensation for the damage caused to the houses and arable land at Deodhar village.

The NHAI officials did not respond to the repeated calls.

#Kullu #Manali



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