36 bus services on Paonta-Shillai hit

Tribune News Service
Solan, July 31

The operations of 36 buses were hit due to the closure of the Paonta Sahib-Shillai National Highway-707 at Kali Dhank Barwas in Shillai of Sirmaur district today.

A 150-metre stretch caved in yesterday. The vehicular movement has been hit on the stretch and buses could ply on limited routes from Shillai to Kafota and from Paonta Sahib to Sataun.

Some link roads were being repaired and made operational to ensure that the area was not cut-off.

The SDM, Paonta Sahib, said the diversion of traffic had been worked out through Kafota-Jakna-Jong-Vikas Nagar-Paonta Sahib and HRTC buses en route Rohru and Dhamkoti plied on the route today. Another route through Kafota-Killod-Paonta Sahib was also operational and no area was cut off and efforts were on to make more link roads operational.

Being new routes, the buses had to seek permission to ply as the restoration of the road was slated to take weeks.

Regional Transport Authority officer Sona Chauhan said, "A request has been made to the State Transport Authority in Shimla to permit buses to take a diversion from Sataun through a 9.5-km stretch though link roads as well as through a 40 to 50-km stretch through Vikas Nagar in Uttarakhand for buses plying on the Paonta Sahib-Shillai routes."

Akhil Sharma, general secretary, Sirmaur Bus Operators Union, who operates Avni Travels, however, said, "The closure of the road at Kali Dhank Barwas has adversely hit transporters as well as the residents. The alternative route worked out through Vikas Nagar in Uttarakhand will entail a daily tax of Rs 2,400. The link roads could not withstand much traffic and a jam occurred last evening too."

He said, "Since it will not be viable to operate the buses under such circumstances, the administration has been requested to talk to the Uttarakhand government and allow us tax exemption."

Courtesy: Tribune News Service
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