Manali-Chandigarh National Highway-21 blocked due to major landslide

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Over 1500 feet high mountain near Dawada Power House of 600 MW Larji Hydel Project in this district started sinking early this morning blocking the busy NH-21 stranding hundreds of vehicles and creating panic among the tourists when a big hillock fell with a big bang on the road.

PWD, Police officials and district officers of both Mandi and Kullu districts rushed to the spot as the news reached at the headquarters of both the district.  K.L Guleria, SDO National Highway -21 at Pandoh Dam site rushed to the site with labour and heavy machines to clear the NH-21.

It was however an uphill task as the stones were continuously falling along with debris and gush of water with high speed posing risk of life to the PWD workers. An immediate decision was taken on the site by the officials to divert the traffic via Kataula to ease the long traffic jam. Meanwhile, it seems unlikely to clear the road by tomorrow as process of sinking and sliding of the big mountain is continuing.

The Aut-Thalaut portion of the NH-21 is highly vulnerable and fragile and during the construction of the Pandoh Dam and Beas-Sutlej Link Project (BSL Project) the big cavities in the hills around the dam had been sealed with pure cement by big pressure machines.

Hundreds of villagers stranded at Dawada had to take a detour of 150 kms to reach their far off villages on foot.

It is alleged that during the construction of the BSL Project by the BBMB, the cluster of villages above the tunnels comprising 48-km water conductor system of two tunnels and an open hydel channel, had to pay huge price as their irrigation and drinking water sources had dried up.

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ML Verma is a Senior journalist, with more than a decade of experience of active reporting for electronic media, news agencies and fast paced online media.

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