Landslides obstruct highways rural roads in Gandaki ProvincePrithvi Highway partially opened for traffic from Tuesday evening.
Landslides along the major highways in Gandaki Province in the last two days have brought vehicular movement to a standstill.
Multiple landslides were reported along Prithvi Highway, Mid Hill Highway, Kaligandaki Corridor and Saljhandi-Dhorpatan Highway in the province. A majority of the rural roads throughout the province have also been blocked by landslides.
Arjun BK, a vegetable seller, who was on his way to Bandipur from Yampa on Tuesday morning, said, “The road caved in at Nahala and we never made it to Bandipur. Rural roads have either been washed away or buried.”
The Tanahun section of Prithvi Highway has been struck by at least a dozen landslides. Authorities are making efforts to clear the landslide debris, but it may take more than a couple of days until the roads are ready for traffic.
Landslides also damaged four roads along the 44-km Beni-Lete section of Beni-Jomsom-Korola road, also known as Kaligandaki Corridor. The flooded Kaligandaki river swept away embankments along with the road sections in Ratopani, Bhurung Tatopani Bazaar and Dana on Tuesday. The flooded river also uprooted a 33 KVA high tension tower of Mistrikhola Hydropower Project in Dana.
In Baglung, vehicular movement along three highways and on rural roads has come to a complete halt due to landslides. Movement along a 12-km section of the Mid Hill Highway and along the 40-km Saljhadi-Dhorpatan road section has also been disrupted by landslides.
Dilliram Acharya, a local of Jaimini, was on the same road stretch when a landslide occurred; he escaped unscathed. “I somehow escaped from the area leaving my motorcycle by the road.”
Three meters of road in Gorkha-Aabukhaireni road section also caved in on Tuesday. Ram Bahadur Khadka, ward chairman of Gorkha Municipality, said vehicular movement along the road will not be resuming any time soon.
Meanwhile, authorities managed to remove landslide debris from 11 places along the Prithvi Highway in Dhading district by Tuesday evening to resume partial traffic. Nine landslides have occurred between Jogimara to Mauwa Khola area whereas two others occurred between Malekhu and Benighat.
“Vehicular movement cannot be resumed in the Mauwa Khola area until Wednesday noon. We will have to change the course of the Mauwa Khola to get any debris clearance work done. We will need to use excavators to change the course of the stream,” said Asman Tamang, chief district officer in Dhading. “Hopefully we can bring an excavator to the area by Wednesday.”
Mauwa Khola had eroded around 15 metres of the road section along the Prithvi Highway on Monday. Amber Gurung, chairman of Rorang Ward No. 10, said a section of the road adjacent to Mauwa bridge has been swept away by floods.
Similarly, Khurkot-Nepalthok section of BP Highway has been obstructed due to a landslide at Kamarephant in Sindhuli district.
Deputy Superintendent of Police Shyam Bahadur Chhetri of Sindhuli district police said local authorities are making efforts to open the road. “The landslide has occurred from a hill above the road. Multiple landslides in Mid Hill Highway and Mahabharat area has also disrupted vehicular movement on Tuesday,” said Chhetri.
Harihar Singh Rathour in Dhading and Raj Kumar Karki in Sindhuli contributed reporting.