As vehicular traffic remained disrupted on the second day after a stretch of the city's main circular road caved in due to the ongoing excavation for a multistory parking lot with commuters facing a tough time during the morning rush hour.
Office goers and schoolchildren were forced to travel in different buses due to the change in traffic plans. The heavy rush of vehicles during peak hours led to interminable traffic jams, adding to city residents' woes.
Office workers from Sanjauli had to change buses near Talland and also travel a few kilometers extra. The circular road about 13 km long and schoolchildren and other commuters had to travel around 5 km extra. People coming to Shimla from Solan had to stop near the old bus station as buses were not allowed ply beyond that point.
Jyoti Sharma, a resident of Sanjauli, said private bus operators were only plying till Talland. “We have read that buses will be allowed to ply till Bemloe but they are only operating up to Talland,” she added.
A few long route private buses turned on the bypass road from Dhali and kept passengers waiting at Sanjauli. The bus staff cited difficulties in plying the vehicles near Bemloe for the decision to divert them to the bypass road before entering the city.
On Monday morning the circular road patch near the high court building adjacent to the road diversion caved in due to negligent digging by the contractor engaged for constructing the multistory parking lot.
Due to excavation work, cracks were visible on the road much before but preventive measures were not adopted by the contractor or the public works department. However, since the past few days work has been on to fill the cracks.
Earlier on Monday a meeting was held and it was decided to set up a valley bridge for unhindered vehicular traffic. However, when members of the technical committee visited the area on Tuesday, the possibility of setting up a valley bridge was ruled out.
Deputy commissioner Dinesh Malhotra said work was on to put a strong retaining wall and nearly 30% of work had been completed.
“It is not technically feasible to set up valley bridge on the caved-in stretch of the road. But work is continuing to construct a retaining wall and, in three or four days, the road patch will be rebuilt and traffic movement will be smooth,” he added.