Kinnaur – The fragile mountains of Kinnaur district are once again wreaking havoc on the lives of its residents. A relentless series of landslides in Nathpa has led to the closure of the crucial National Highway-5, disrupting the routine life of thousands in the region.

The catastrophe unfolded on Monday evening when a cascade of heavy landslides and massive stones tumbling down the hills commenced at 5:15 pm. The situation persisted into Tuesday, resulting in the closure of a significant stretch of the National Highway-5, burying about 200 meters of the road under debris. Travelers en route to Kaza and Lahaul Spiti, spanning all three sections of Kinnaur district, are grappling with the aftermath of this natural disaster.

The blockage has given rise to extensive traffic queues on both ends of the highway. The movement of vehicles, both small and large, towards Kaza and Lahaul-Spiti, including key areas such as Kalpa, Nichar and Pooh, has come to a grinding halt. The implications of this disruption have forced residents to explore alternative routes, with only small vehicles daring to navigate the Panvi-Plingi-Nichar path.

This alternative route, while permitting the passage of smaller vehicles, poses a considerable risk as travellers cover an additional distance of approximately six and a half kilometers. Negotiating this dilapidated road has become a perilous journey for those seeking to traverse the region.

In response to the crisis, the National Highway Authority has mobilized JCB machines and laborers to the affected area in a concerted effort to restore the disrupted National Highway. However, the continuous landslides from the unstable hills make the task of reopening the road a formidable challenge.

The local authorities are urging residents and travellers to exercise caution and stay informed about the evolving situation. The unpredictability of the mountainous terrain underscores the need for swift and efficient response measures to mitigate the impact of such natural calamities in the future.