The Kotdwara-Pauri Highway has remained closed for the third consecutive day. The stretch of around 6 to 8 kilometers between Kotdwara and Pauri National Highway has deteriorated, with heaps of debris and boulders obstructing the road at seven to eight locations within a two-kilometer section.
The prolonged highway closure has led to a shortage of supplies including fruits, vegetables, eggs, and milk in all the markets and towns of Garhwal, including Lansdowne. Meanwhile, efforts are underway by the NH Division Dhumakot to reopen the highway. The work of removing debris is continuing even during the night. It is hoped that the highway will reopen on Friday.
Due to the closure of the Kotdwara-Pauri Highway, people commuting for essential work from Kotdwara are climbing on rocks at some places and shouting from the banks of the Khoh River at others. To mitigate the risk, the police station in-charge of Dugadda, Suresh Sharma, has been directing people to take the Aita Ramanee Pulinda route. Small vehicles have been redirected towards Kotdwara from Ramani Pulinda by the police administration.
In contrast, heavy vehicles’ movement is halted. Arun Kumar, Executive Engineer of NH Division Dhumakot, mentioned that efforts are being made to break and clear the boulders from the highway. Several large boulders need to be blasted before removal. An attempt is being made to reopen the highway soon. If the weather remains favorable, traffic will be restored on the highway from Friday morning.
Heavy Vehicles’ Movement to Resume on Kojawe Alternate Route in 15 Days
The alternative hume pipe culvert constructed over the Malan River, near Kojawe, may be operational for heavy vehicles in about 15 days, bringing relief to entrepreneurs in Sidalakul. Following the collapse of the Malan Bridge, an alternative arrangement was made for light vehicles via Mavakot and Kanwashram, while a new 300-meter hume pipe culvert was being constructed from Tallamotadhank to Haldikhata for heavy vehicles, including buses, via a nearly two-kilometer-long newly established route. However, the repeated halt in vehicular movement is attributed to the intermittent rainfall.
Vivek Chauhan, Secretary of Sidakul Constructor’s Association, along with entrepreneurs Suresh Thakur and Ramesh Patwal, highlighted the frequent closures of Kojawe, while the construction of the alternate road is progressing at a slow pace. Consequently, industries as well as the residents of Bhawar are facing hardships. Jagdamba Prasad Uniyal, Pushkar Singh Rana, Dinesh Gaur, Ashok Kumar Gaur, Uday Singh, and Ishwari Singh have demanded the construction of a concrete road for the two-kilometer stretch of Kandi Marg. On the other hand, D.P. Singh, Executive Engineer of Lonaivi Dugadda, stated that vehicular movement from Kojawe on Kandi Marg has commenced with intermittent halts.