Passengers spend night in Uttarakhand’s Champawat as road project delays buses
More than 30 passengers of two Delhi-bound buses had to spend their night at Champawat as the vehicles were not given permission to move ahead for reaching late on Wednesdaydehradun Updated: Feb 15, 2018 22:24 IST
More than 30 passengers of two Delhi-bound buses had to spend their night at Champawat as the vehicles were not given permission to move ahead for reaching late on Wednesday.
The buses reached Champawat late as they had to negotiate traffic jam and dumps of debris put on the way because of construction of an all-weather road from Tanakpur to Pithoragarh.
“The roadways buses reached Champawat town at 7.30 pm, the time beyond which no vehicle is permitted to go towards Tanakpur due to safety measures,” said Dhirendra Gunjyal, Champawat superintendent of police.
“The safety measures have been taken by the district administration after several accidents occurred during night hours on the 75-km-long route between Champawat and Tanakpur.”
Construction of the all-weather road has been blamed for regular delays of long-route passenger buses and many accidents. Ten passengers were killed in an accident at Swala on February 7.
“We admit that the portion between Dhaun and Chalthi is sensitive because of accident risks,” a national highway project engineer said on anonymity.
The two buses -- going from Pithoragarh to Delhi and Dharchula to Delhi -- reached Champawat three hours late.
“Due to the delay on the way, because of heavy debris dumped on the road, we lost our 10 hours to reach Delhi, which is 413 km from Champawat town,” said Gopal Singh, a passenger who had to join his duty in a town in Rajasthan. The bus left Champawat on Thursday.
The situation will continue till March last week when the road-cutting work will be over, said highway engineer MD Mathela. “We have 15 km critical portion of road between Dhaun and Chalthi, that is most challenging for vehicles as well as for engineers,” said Mathela.
“If the situation continues till monsoon months, the road will get completely closed as the debris from cut portions above the road will fall on the entire road as the department has not followed norms,” said Manoj Samant of Singda village, situated beside the highway.
The 150-km-long,₹ 1,065-crore all-weather road from Tanakpur railhead to border town of Pithoragarh in Kumaon region was sanctioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to connect four shrines in Uttarakhand -- Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri. The project is scheduled to be completed by 2019.