If you are planning to visit Manali this season take precautions as several roads which were blocked in Himachal Pradesh’s Kullu district due to landslides and flash floods triggered by heavy rains were reopened for light vehicles on Wednesday b the road are still in dilapidated condition, police said.
Only light vehicles were allowed to ply on the Kullu-Manali route from Patlikuhal to Manali as the road is still damaged near Green Tax barrier, Kullu Superintendent of Police Guarav Singh said.
However, the road via Naggar from Patlikuhal has been reopened for heavy vehicles as well, he said.
The Banta Morh road near Gulaba in Manali and the Kullu-Anni road have also been reopened only for light vehicles, the SP said, adding the latter is badly damaged near Saujha.
The poor condition of the Chandigarh-Manali highway is proving to be a big blow for the tourism industry of Kullu-Manali. The road from Sundernagar to Kullu is full of potholes. The NHAI is constructing the Kiratpur-Manali fourlane where the construction work is going on at a snail’s pace. It causes long traffic jam during the peak season.
Rajesh Singh and his wife Nisha from Delhi, who visited Manali, said the poor stretches made their journey tedious. The road between Mandi and Kullu was worse these days.
A majority of tourists said the government should improve the condition of the road. Praveen Kumar, a taxi driver, said the bad road condition was harmful for vehicles. Due to the widening work on the highway, the maintenance expenses of taxis had been increased.
Hoteliers of Kullu-Manali are also concerned. They met Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur at Manali during investors’ meet and urged him to provide the better road and air connectivity to promote tourism.
“The state government should ask the NHAI to accomplish the task. Unscientific cutting of hills is triggering landslides in the rainy season, while the Beas also damages the road. There is need to channel the Beas,” said Anup Thakur, president of the Hoteliers Association Kullu-Manali.
Source: Tribune News Service (September 12)