The Kiratpur-Manali National Highway was on Monday blocked due to a massive landslide near Hanogi in Mandi district of Himachal, about 180 Km from here. The vehicular traffic on the road came to a halt and hundreds of vehicles were stranded on either side of the blockades.
The district administration diverted the traffic via Bajaura-Kotla road.
Additional District Magistrate Mandi Vivek Chandel said the Public Works Department (PWD) has pressed its teams into action to clear the blockade by deploying heavy machinery and JCBs.
“Some breakthrough was made around this evening and some of the light vehicles were allowed to cross the damaged road portion but shooting stone from the mountain compelled the authorities to stop movement of the vehicles as this posed a grave risks to the lives of the passengers”, he told the Indian Express over phone.
“Huge boulders suddenly started rolling down and within minutes the entire hill-lock came down sliding but fortunately no vehicle was crossing the road at that point of time and as such there was no loss of human life,” said state Public Works Department (PWD)officials.
Deputy Commissioner, Kullu Rakesh Kanwar, said there was no report of any human and property loss due to the landslide, which was triggered by falling stones and old cracks in the loose strata of the mountain between Hanogi and Dwada on the banks of river Beas.
The location where the landslide took place was only few meters away from the place where 24 engineering students were washed away in the flash flood last year.
The cause of landslide could not be ascertained as there were neither rains nor any hill cutting activity on the road and a technical team is visiting the spot to know the exact cause of the landslide.
The landslide covered an area of 150 mts length of the road and huge mound of earth and rocks fell in river Beas, Superintending Engineer, Nag said.
Four JCB and heavy earth moving machineries have been deployed to clear the blockade but normal traffic was unlikely to be resumed today.
“We may be able to clear the roads for light vehicles by the evening but it may cause risk as boulders are still rolling down”, he added.
(With inputs from PTI)