Traffic on Tibet road halts after landslide at Nathpa

Traffic movement on the Hindustan-Tibet National Highway-5 came to a halt after a massive landslide near Nathpa in Kinnaur district late last night. Earlier, three massive landslides had taken place in the district in a month and traffic movement remained suspended on the national highway for several days.

In Friday's landslide, debris in a large quantity along with big boulders and heaps of stones fell and covered a 200-metre stretch of the national highway, thereby disrupting vehicular movement. Long queues of vehicles were seen on both sides of the highway, as commuters remained stranded for hours.

As per officials, as it was a massive landslide, it may take a few days before the highway was restored to traffic. Frequent landslides in the district has become a cause for concern and a major challenge for the Public Works Department (PWD). The department attributes landslides to excessive rainfall and the fragile strata in the area.

Satish Joshi, Junior Engineer, PWD, National Highways wing, at Negulsari, Kinnaur, said, "A massive landslide was expected in the area as stones were falling onto the highway from the hills regularly for a long time. Due to excessive rain during the monsoon this year, landslides occur frequently in the area. We will start treating the hills to prevent or reduce the risk of landslides after conducting a study."

Joshi said, "It will take around three days to clear the debris and restore the highway to vehicular traffic, provided stones stop falling on it." He added that the machinery, workers and equipment had been stationed at the landslide site but the PWD would start the restoration work only when stones and debris stops falling onto the highway.

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