Repeated landslides become cause of worry for Kinanur residents

  • Bhawani Negi, Hindustan Times, Shimla
  • Updated: Mar 25, 2015 20:09 IST

The inhabitants of tribal district of Kinnaur, since last June, have repeatedly been facing road blockage problem at Urni dhank on national highway 22. The road has been blocked several times due to landslide, but, so far, the district administration has not figured out any permanent solution for the same.

Meanwhile, with the Satluj river swelling up the temporary alternate routes from the left bank of the river have been blocked, affecting the vehicular movement.

Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) regional manager Devinder Negi disclosed that the traffic had been disrupted on Monday on the alternate route, which also hit the state roadways bus services in the area. "By Tuesday afternoon the traffic was restored, allowing movement of buses," he said.

On previous occasions, the natives, under a banner of Him Lok Jagriti Manch (HLJM) and Karcham Wangtoo Sangarsh Samiti, Kinnaur, had demanded acquiring Jaypee's ADIT tunnel II and flushing a portion of the tunnel of Karcham-Wangtoo power project that is being used to divert the Satluj river, in order address the problem.

HLJM convenor RS Negi said the tunnel could be used for traffic, to bypass the continuous roadblock owing to landslides. And for the outflow of the river water, another tunnel can be constructed in between the ADIT II to head raised tunnel (HRT) and ADIT AFT -3, he added.

He said that a temporary alternate Urni block route on the left bank of the river could never be a permanent solution as it was fragile and sandy. "Other options that can be explored are to make 20 km Choling-Urni-Chagaon link road meet the standard of the national highway or state highway as currently the road is a narrow and a single lane," he said.

Meanwhile, Vidhan Sabha deputy speaker, who is also legislator from Kinnaur, Jagat Singh Negi, said that he had met chief minister Virbhadra Singh and urged him for restoring the Urni alternate route with an alternative 'Pontoon bridge' over Satluj river to be constructed and completed by the army in a time bound manner.

He said the Urni alternate route that had been made functional in the last few months had become vulnerable to be washed away owing to the recent rains and snow that has swollen up the river.

"This has thus affected the movement of vehicles on this alternative route," he added.

He said that the link road Choling-Urni - Chagaon that had earlier been badly damaged would be restored in about one and a half months.

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