Himachal: Kinnaur cut off from Shimla after NH-5 blocked due to landslide - Hindustan Times
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Himachal: Kinnaur cut off from Shimla after NH-5 blocked due to landslide

ByPress Trust of India
Oct 07, 2023 03:09 PM IST

With the apple season not yet over in the higher hills, a large number of vehicles, including trucks, are stranded on either side of the blockade at Chaura

The tribal district of Kinnaur was cut off from state capital Shimla following a massive landslide on the Hindustan-Tibet Road or National Highway 5 at Chaura, officials said on Saturday.

The mouth of the natural tunnel at Chaura on the Hindustan-Tibet Road or National Highway number 5 blocked by boulders after the landslide in Kinnaur district on Saturday. (HT Photo)
The mouth of the natural tunnel at Chaura on the Hindustan-Tibet Road or National Highway number 5 blocked by boulders after the landslide in Kinnaur district on Saturday. (HT Photo)

Huge boulders and debris came sliding down on the road near the natural tunnel at the entry of Kinnaur district on Friday night, hindering even pedestrian movement.

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With the apple season not yet over in the higher hills, a large number of vehicles, including trucks, are stranded on either side of the blockade.

Officials said on Saturday that restoration work is underway in full swing and boulders are being removed. Heavy machinery has been deployed to drill the hard rock and carve a passage for stranded vehicles.

A view of the natural tunnel near Chaura in Kinnaur district that got blocked due to the landslide on NH-5. (HT Photo)
A view of the natural tunnel near Chaura in Kinnaur district that got blocked due to the landslide on NH-5. (HT Photo)

NH-5 was blocked near Nugalsari, a few kilometres before Chaura, following a landslide on September 7. It took 10 days for the road to be opened.

Frequent landslides on this road in an ecologically fragile area has become a bane for local people and fruit producers, particularly apple-growers who want a lasting solution.

Kinnaur is known for high-quality juicy apples and transportation from the lower belts of the district starts in August, while apples from higher reaches continue to arrive in the market till November-end. Apple production has declined this year due to weather vagaries.

About 30 lakh boxes are expected in 2023 in Kinnaur as compared to 40-42 lakh boxes in 2022, deputy director, horticulture (Kinnaur), Ajay Kumar Dhiman said.

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