Residents begin ‘shramdaan’ to restore Manali highway : The Tribune India

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Residents begin ‘shramdaan’ to restore Manali highway

Residents begin ‘shramdaan’ to restore Manali highway

Residents of Manali, hoteliers and taxi operators work to restore Manali highway. Tribune photo



Tribune News Service

Mandi, September 14

The sluggish pace of restoration of the Chandigarh-Manali four-lane project by the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) has irked Mandi and Kullu residents, who are facing inconvenience due to the massive damage caused to this road in July and August.

The flooded Beas and heavy rain damaged this road at various places between Manali and Mandi due to which long traffic jams have become common on this highway.

The NHAI has not been able to fully restore the highway so far. Manali residents have, therefore, initiated collective efforts to restore it at their own level. For the past six days, Manali residents, hoteliers, taxi operators and other have been doing community labour (shramdaan) to erect a crate wall along the Beas bank at Klath so that two-way traffic could be restored on the highway at the earliest.

Hotelier Budhi Prakash Thakur said, “As the NHAI could not restore this road for two months, long traffic jams have become a common sight here. The tourism industry has collapsed due to this reason.”

Another hotelier MR Baba said, “The NHAI is doing nothing to restore this highway and now Manali residents have started repairing it by themselves. Union minister Nitin Gadkari visited the state after the rain disaster, but nothing has happened on the ground to restore the damaged highway so far. If roads are damaged, how will tourists visit the state?”

“This is bound to render thousands of people jobless. We request the Centre to shun politics and help the state in restoring its glory,” he added.

The NHAI Project Director was not available for comments on the issue.

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