Paonta-Hatkoti road shut, apple transportation hit

Ambika Sharma

Tribune News Service

Solan, August 4

The transportation of apple from the Shimla belt has been severally hit with the Paonta Sahib-Shillai-Hatkoti national highway (NH)-707 being closed for the last six days after a 150-m stretch of the highway caved in at Kali Dhank in Shillai sub-division six days ago. This road has been closed for vehicular traffic and its restoration work was underway. Notably, a 97-km stretch of this road from Paonta Sahib-Guma in Shimla is being widened by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.

"Around 200 truckloads of apples usually take this route during the peak apple season on a daily basis from apple belts of Shimla district. Orchardists from Rohru, Jubbal and Chopal use this route to reach the markets in Delhi via Yamunanagar as it is a shorter route than the Shimla-Solan-Parwanoo route," informed a grower Govind Thakur from Chopal.

According to an estimate 12,5,000 metric tonnes of apple if transported through this route every year. This traffic is supposed to increase by 200 per cent once its widening is completed.

Orchardists find this route short

Orchardists from Rohru, Jubbal and Chopal use this route to reach the markets in Delhi via Yamunanagar as it is shorter than the Shimla-Solan-Parwanoo route. — A grower from Chopal

The distance from Guma to Delhi via Paonta Sahib-Yamunanagar is 260 km while the distance from Guma to Delhi via Solan-Parwanoo route is 533 km. Being nearly 300-km shorter the Paonta Sahib route is preferred by the orchardists.

"Buyers from Saharanpur, Lucknow, Delhi and other places in Uttarakhand use this route to buy apples from the orchardists in Rohru, Jubbal and Chopal sub-divisions every season," informed Govind Thakur. "We have been forced to use longer route through Shimla-Solan to reach the apple markets of the region and this has also enhanced the transportation cost," added Thakur.

Courtesy: Tribune News Service
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