A massive landslide blocked the Kiratpur-Manali National Highway-21, near Hanogi in Mandi district of Himachal, on Monday morning.
Though no casualty or damage to vehicles was reported, the landslide, which occurred about 9:30am, nearly 35 km from Mandi town and 15 km before Pandoh Dam, cut short the journey of hundreds of tourists travelling from and to Manali.
The landslide covered a 150-m stretch of the highway as huge mound of earth and rocks fell in the Beas river.
As a temporary relief, the district administration has diverted the traffic from Bajaura in Kullu district via the Kamand-Mandi road.
While tourists have been advised against travelling in the area during night hours, police said cops had been deployed on the alternative route to ensure smooth flow of traffic as the road was quite narrow at certain points. Low-floor buses have been suggested not to take the alternative route.
Officials of the public works department, that deployed diggers and bulldozers to clear the debris, said restoration of traffic on the national highway might take another 24 hours, but only after ruling out the possibility of further landslide, as debris continued to roll down.
The cause of landslide could not be ascertained as there was neither rain nor any hill-cutting activity on the road and a technical team will visit the spot to know the exact cause of the landslide.
Meanwhile, Mandi additional district magistrate (ADM) Vivek Chandel, along with additional superintendent of police KC Rana, inspected the spot, and said PWD staff was working round-the-clock to clear the debris, but a decision on restoring traffic movement could be taken only on Tuesday.
Taking note of the situation, a number of volunteer organisations have urged hotel and roadside food joints to not overcharge tourists, while the Guru Gobind Singh Gurdwara at Mandi has opened its gates for the stranded tourists for community lunch.