The highway has been blocked since Sunday evening because of landslides at multiple places between Mandi and Pandoh
A long traffic jam was observed from Nerchowk to Mandi on the Chandigarh-Manali highway on Monday as the road was blocked between Mandi and Pandoh in Mandi district.
The highway has been blocked since Sunday evening following landslides at multiple places between Mandi and Pandoh. As a result, traffic has come to a standstill.
Hundreds of tourists travelling towards Kullu-Manali from the Mandi side or coming to Mandi from the Kullu side were inconvenienced as they had to spend the night in the vehicles.
However, the police diverted the movement of light vehicles between Mandi and Kullu via the Chail chowk-Pandoh route. But the heavy vehicles are still stuck on the highway.
Additional Superintendent of Police Sagar Chander said the restoration work is under way and the road is expected to be thrown open for traffic in the afternoon.
He said the road between Mandi and Kullu via Kataula is also blocked, so travellers are advised to use the Chail Chowk-Pandoh route to travel from Mandi to Kullu.
Hundreds of commuters were stranded in Himachal Pradesh’s Mandi district as the Chandigarh-Manali national highway was blocked following flash floods and landslides, officials said on Monday.
The 70-km Mandi-Pandoh-Kullu stretch has been badly affected, they said. A long traffic jam was observed from Nerchowk to Mandi on the Chandigarh-Manali highway as the road was blocked between Mandi and Pandoh in Mandi district.
“We have been struck since last evening as the road is closed. A large number of vehicles are stranded on both sides of the roads at Aut and 6 Miles,” said Prashant, a stranded commuter who was returning to Mandi town from Chandigarh.
Public Works Department Minister Vikramaditya Singh said as many as 301 roads have been blocked due to heavy rains.
Out of these roads, 180 would be opened by Monday evening, 15 by Tuesday and the remaining by June 30 depending on the weather conditions, Singh told reporters.
As many as 390 JCBs, dozers and tippers have been deployed to clear the roads and the department would release a number on which the people can report road related issues by today evening, he added.
There are about 30 road stretches prone to frequent landslides in the state. So far, during the ongoing monsoon season which started on June 24, the PWD has suffered a loss to the tune of about Rs 27 crore.
On Sunday, flash floods triggered by a cloudburst in Solan and Hamirpur districts and heavy rains in Shimla, Mandi and Kullu killed two people, damaged crops, homes and vehicles, and washed away livestock.
According to the State Emergency Operation Centre, one person each drowned in Hamirpur and Shimla districts. The rain also damaged 11 houses and several vehicles as well as four cowsheds.
Moderate to heavy rains have also lashed several parts of Kangra, Mandi and Sirmaur districts.
Dharamshala in Kangra was the wettest with 107 mm of rain followed by Kataula and Bhattiyat 75 mm each, Gohar 67 mm, Mandi 56 mm, Pandoh 50 mm, Poanta Sahib 43 mm, Nagrota Suriyan 39 mm, Kothi 37 mm, Jogindernagar 36 mm and Palampur 32.2 mm.
The local weather office has issued an orange alert for heavy to very heavy rain, thunderstorm and lightning at isolated places on Monday and Tuesday and yellow alert of heavy rain, thunderstorm and lightning on June 28 and 29.