Parts of Sirmaur highway cave in as rain triggers landslides

Ambika Sharma

Tribune News Service

Solan, July 30

Commuters had a narrow escape when two stretches of the National Highway-707 caved in this morning near Kali Dhank and Kacchi Dhank in Paonta Sahib, Sirmaur, following downpour in the area for the last 48 hours. The highway was closed to vehicular traffic after the massive landslides.

Several vehicles had stopped just few metres away from the affected spot in Kali Dhank, where the road caved in first along the valley side followed by crumbling of the hill, taking water pipes and electricity poles along.

A damaged stretch near Kali Dhank.

In a video which went viral, a group of villagers present near the spot ran helter-skelter as the hill started crumbling. They also warned motorists to stay away from the site.

Incidentally, the NH-707 between Paonta Sahib and Hatkoti in Shimla district is being widened by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. No work, however, was underway at the affected sites. Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Paonta Sahib, Vivek Mahajan visited the spot while the road-widening project director and staff of revenue and electricity department assessed the damage. "Excavation work had also been carried out in the valley area for limestone mining two years ago. This might have triggered the mishap. The loosened earth material on the hill above the road gave way after its base caved in," said an official of the ministry who visited the spot.

"The restoration work could take sometime, as the rainy weather is another challenge," said the official.

Sirmaur DC RK Gautam, instructed the police to erect barricades before the affected site to avert any untoward incident.

GSI team to visit area

A team of GSI from Chandigarh will visit the affected site on Saturday to devise measures to ensure the stability of the road for undertaking the widening.

150 tourists rescued from Lahaul amp; Spiti

Mandi: As many as 150 stranded tourists were on Friday evacuated from flood-affected areas of Lahaul and Spiti district, while 168 tourists are still marooned.

Firm told to identify vulnerable stretches

The private company engaged in widening the road has been directed to identify vulnerable stretches on the highway to avert landslides during the ongoing monsoon.

Landslides on NH-707

  • Highway at Kali Dhank in Paonta Sahib caves in
  • Another road disappears in Kacchi Dhank, 100 m from Kali Dhank, with a landslide
Courtesy: Tribune News Service
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