Poor condition of Beni-Jomsom road affects pilgrims to Kagbeni in MustangUpgradation of the road is going at a snail’s pace, which is affecting hundreds daily.
Tourists, mainly the pilgrims visiting Kagbeni of Mustang, have been affected greatly by the poor condition of Beni-Jomsom road.
Upgradation of the Beni-Jomsom-Korala road is going at a snail's pace. The road is quite narrow at most of the places and largely rough. To make matters worse, continuous rain over the past few days has further damaged the road, putting hundreds of passengers in hardship.
There is not a motorable bridge across the Begkhola stream on the road. Transportation is obstructed for hours if it rains heavily in the area. Road disruption due to landslides is quite normal along the Beni-Jomsom stretch.
“The road is scary. It is narrow, muddy and steep. I was terrified when the bus swayed side to side on the muddy road,” said Arun Kumar of Tamilnadu, India, who was returning after worshipping at Muktinath Temple.
The narrow stretch has been riskier due to rain. According to transport workers, it takes more than seven hours to travel the 76 km road. “Transportation along the Beni-Jomsom section has been difficult and dangerous due to mudslides triggered by rains. We have been operating transportation service running full risk for the sake of passengers who are facing difficulties. We clear the debris every morning and run vehicles,” said Mohan KC.
A diversion was constructed in Begkhola after floods swept the bridge four years ago. The vehicles have to wait hours for water in the stream to recede whenever it rains in the catchment area.
People visit Kagbeni every year in large numbers to perform Shradda in memory of their forefathers on the occasion of the 16-day ritual ahead of Dashain. The flow of the Hindu pilgrims has been heavy in Kagbeni, which lies on the banks of Kaligandaki river between Jomsom and Muktinath Temple, in the past few days. Besides hardships in travel, the pilgrims complained of poor management and absence of basic facilities like water and toilets at the holy site.