Movement of light vehicles was restored on the landslide-affected stretch of the Kiratpur-Manali National Highway 21 on Monday night.
While it is yet to be clear whether the road underneath the debris could be salvaged, traffic has started moving over the levelled mound of earth that came down near Hanogi, 15km from Pandoh Dam in Mandi district, on Monday morning.
“Light vehicles and regular buses of Himachal Road Transport Corporation with high floor have been allowed to cross the stretch. However, heavy vehicles and low-floor buses, such as Volvos, need to wait further for ground clearance,” said BS Mehta, executive engineer, National Highway division, public works department, Pandoh, while advising travellers against taking the route at night or in the wee hours.
Mehta said labourers and machinery of the department were working round-the-clock, but traffic was being halted intermittently to clear fresh sludge, adding that police personnel were managing the traffic to avoid snarls and one vehicle was being allowed to cross the stretch at a time.
The official said the several minor earthquakes in the recent past could have caused cavities in the mountain, leading to water ingress that forced the rocks to displace.
However, he denied any illegal mining for slates on the top of the hill and surrounding areas.