Chandigarh-Shimla highway opens, fresh landslide slows down traffic
Six days after the Chandigarh Shimla national highway was closed down for traffic due to heavy landslides causing inconvenience to thousands of commuters and traders, the highway was finally opened for light vehicle traffic today.
However, a few hours after the highway was opened, it had to be closed down again due to a small landslide that took place in that area later in the day. Following which, traffic was halted on the highway for around 30 minutes. It was after the fallen debris was removed by National Highways Authority of India officials (NHAI) that traffic flow was re-started.
While NHAI claims that it will be after a few days, on observing the condition of the highway, it would also be opened up for heavy vehicles also, SP, Solan said that the heavy vehicles would be following the same alternative route provided till the highway is not opened for heavy traffic.
The Chandigarh Shimla Highway, being the main lifeline that connects the state of Haryana to Himachal pradesh, its closure had hit hard the tourism industry, supply of essential services to the hill state and caused heavy losses to the apple traders of this tourist state.
Talking to Chandigarh Media DC, Solan, Manmohan Sharma said, “It is a big relief to the commuters, tourism industry and traders that the highway has been finally opened with all the precautions taken regarding safety by the police department and the NHAI staff. As far as the Sanwara Toll plaza is concerned, no toll tax would be collected by the commuters for some time. It would be after observing the condition of the highway for a few days, that if all goes fine, the toll plaza at Sanwara would be opened. Till then no toll tax would be charged.” It was on August 5, using his special powers , DC, Solan had ordered the closing down of the Sanwara toll plaza in lieu of the law and order condition getting bad after the locals protested.
While for SP, Solan, Gaurav Singh said, “While the highway has been opened for the light vehicle traffic, the heavy vehicle traffic will continue to follow the previous alternate route plan provided by the Solan Police.”
The buses of the HRTC are still stationed at both ends of the Chakki Mor and the process of transshipment of the passengers from one point to the other is taking place. The Regional Manager, Solan of HRTC said, “As the highway has not been open to heavy traffic, we would continue the process of transshipment of people from one end to the other and the buses for the purpose have been deployed on both the sides”.
A commuter Sonia Verma said, “When we went from Chandigarh to Shimla three days ago, taking the alternate routes provided by the police department, it doubled the travel time because of which we had to suffer lots of inconvenience as we were with our small kids. Finally, today the highway has opened up and we are returning to Chandigarh”