Encroachments on Pathankot-Mandi highway threat to motorists, pedestrians

Ravinder Sood

PALAMPUR, July 23

The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) is yet to remove encroachments on the Pathankot-Mandi highway despite the order of the Himachal Pradesh High Court.

Mushrooming encroachments on the highway in Palampur, Nagrota Bagwan, Matour and Shahpur have become a cause for concern. The width of the highway passing through various towns of Kangra district has reduced due to unauthorised constructions, which are a threat to pedestrians and motorists.

In the past couple of months, around 10 unauthorised shops have come up near HP agriculture university on the highway. Many accidents have occurred on this stretch. Similarly, several tin sheds and makeshift shops have also come up on either side of the bridge on the Baner river.

Although the NHAI is aware of the development, it is yet to take any step to remove the encroachments. Project Director of the NHAI Anil Sen said they had served notices on violators. "We have also informed the sub-divisonal magistrates and the deputy superintendents of police of the areas where such properties have come up. However, as the NHAI hasn't been provided a police team, encroachments are not removed," Sen added.

Sen admitted that the encroachments, due to which many people have lost their lives, hindered a smooth flow of traffic. But without the cooperation of the local authorities, the NHAI was helpless in initiating any action against violators.

Courtesy: Tribune News Service
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