PM’s project chokes Tanakpur-Pithoragarh road, locals cry foul

The dust emitted from the heavy machines are adding to air pollution, causing difficulties in breathing.

dehradun Updated: Dec 09, 2017 20:40 IST
BD Kasniyal
BD Kasniyal
Hindustan Times
Uttarakhand news,Narendra Modi,Road project
The road remains choked at over a dozen points, some of which are Mena Bazar Ghat, Shahid gate, Matela, Matela curve, Dhaun and Swala curve. (HT PHOTO)

Pithoragarh: As the saying goes, all good things come at a price. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pet all-weather Chardham road project connecting Badrinath, Kedarnath, Yamunotri and Gangotri shrines, is currently underway.

The price paid? The 150 km-long Tanakpur-Pithoragarh road is rendered impossible for commuting and, worse, there is no alternate route. The ongoing project has left locals and tourists frustrated in Pithoragarh district.

“Commuting between Tanakpur and Pithoragarh has become impossible due to road construction. The main road perpetually remains blocked and the route which could be easily covered in two hours, is now taking at least four-five hours,” said Manoj Samant from Singda village.

The road remains choked at over a dozen points, some of which are Mena Bazar Ghat, Shahid gate, Matela, Matela curve, Dhaun and Swala curve.

People are miffed over the lack of an alternate route. Commuters, who wish to reach Tanakpur and Kathgodam railway stations from Pithoragarh, are suffering the most. “Those in defence services, who usually arrive at the two nearest railway stations, are bearing the brunt. We have to set out early to reach our destination on time,” said an army jawan.

To top it all, the dust emitted from the heavy machines are adding to air pollution, causing difficulties in breathing. “They are not sprinkling water due to which the air has become highly polluted, affecting the people who stay along the route,” added Samant.

Officials confirmed that the locals would have to bear this situation for a few more months. “This situation will persist at least for the next three months until the construction companies cut the uphill portions of the road,” said
LD Mathela, executive engineer of National Highway-125 posted at Lohaghat.

First Published: Dec 09, 2017 20:40 IST