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Thursday, Aug 22, 2019

Six parked vehicles plunge into gorge as portion of NH-5 caves in near Theog

Though no loss of life was reported, vehicular movement was disrupted on Saturday as only one side of the road was in use.

india Updated: Aug 10, 2019 23:09 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
The caved-in portion of National Highway-5 at Rai Ghat near Theog, 30km from Shimla, on Saturday.
The caved-in portion of National Highway-5 at Rai Ghat near Theog, 30km from Shimla, on Saturday. (Deepak Sansta)
         

At least six vehicles parked along the National Highway-5 at Rai Ghat near Theog, 30km from Shimla, rolled down a gorge following a cave-in late on Friday.

Though no loss of life was reported, vehicular movement was disrupted on Saturday as only one side of the road was in use.

DSP Pramod Shukla said more cops have been deployed to regulate the traffic.

Himachal Pradesh is witnessing frequent landslides and flashfloods for the past few days and the condition is likely to persist as state’s meteorological department has predicted heavy rain till August 16.

Shimla SP Omapati Jamwal, along with additional SP (City), DSP (traffic) and SHO had on Friday monitored the situation and decided to increase the presence of cops in night hours. Pick-up vehicles coming from the Rampur and Narkanda side would be diverted from Theog, it has been decided.

The six vehicles that rolled down a gorge after cave-in.
The six vehicles that rolled down a gorge after cave-in. ( Deepak Sansta )

All trailers would be stopped at Shoghi and Shanan and only allowed to move further as per the traffic condition.

Bhattakuffar mandi would be requested to open at 8am instead of 9am, morning traffic shift at Dhalli tunnel will start at 7am instead of 8am and overtaking by vehicles during traffic congestion would be strictly dealt with.

On Saturday, vehicles transporting apple caused multiple traffic snarls on the 25-km-long stretch between Dhalli and Theog. Commuters faced inconvenience as they were stuck in jams for hours and had no other option but to wait.

Vikram Thakur, a local, said it took him six hours to reach Shimla from Narkanda.

Apple-laden trucks earlier used to take Chhaila-Sainj road to reach Solan, but with the PWD declaring the Maipur bridge unsafe for heavy vehicles, the vehicles have to take the NH-5 route.

Several traders have also expressed their displeasure with the situation and are of opinion that the government should have checked the bridge earlier as such restrictions during the peak season would cause them losses.

Harish Chauhan, president of HP fruits, flowers and vegetable growers’ association, has urged the state government to set up a market at a place away from the city.

During the apple season, the orchardists transport their produce to fruit markets in Solan, Shimla, Paravanoo, Chandigarh and Delhi.

Shimla district is one of the biggest producers of apples and the district administration had earlier estimated dispatch of more than two crore apple boxes this year.

First Published: Aug 10, 2019 23:09 IST

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