Vehicular movement along Prithvi Highway disruptedThe road has caved in at Nahala following Tuesday night’s incessant rainfall.
Vehicular movement along the Damauli-Dumre road section of the Prithvi Highway has come to a halt since Friday, as the road caved in at Nahala in Ward No. 1 of Bandipur Rural Municipality, Tanahun, following Tuesday night’s incessant rainfall.
“After the road caved in, heavy vehicles got stuck in the diversion. This is why we decided to shut down the road section from Friday to start road repair work,” said Sachin Shrestha, an engineer at the Division Road Office in Damauli.
Authorities concerned have been making efforts to resume one-way traffic through a diversion for the last few days. More than 10-metres of the road section has caved in at the Nahala area, disrupting vehicular movement along the road.
The Division Road Office is making efforts to construct a temporary road structure by fixing stone-filled gabion boxes along the damaged road section.
“We hope to resume vehicular movement along the road section by Sunday evening,” said Shrestha.
Multiple landslides have occurred along the Tanahun section of the highway following incessant rainfalls this monsoon.
“The landslide debris from Mugling and Kotre areas have already been removed. But the highway is still closed due to the road’s state in the Nahala area,” said Shrestha.
Bhumiraj Khanal, a truck driver stranded in the road section, said, “I have already spent seven days along the Muglin-Kotre road section. I had carried foods that could last two to three days. Now, I don’t have any food to eat and they are not easily available on the roadside.”
Hari Prasad Chaudhary, another truck driver, also shared a similar ordeal.
“Multiple landslides in various parts of the highway have blocked the road. We are risking our lives driving through landslide-prone road sections,” said Chaudhary. “We cannot even get proper meals in hotels, as most of them are closed due to the threat of Covid-19.”
Employees from the Division Road Office in Damauli and security personnel from Nepali Army, Nepal Police and Armed Police Force have been deployed in Nahala for road repair work.
The District Traffic Police Office in Tanahun has stopped the flow of vehicles in Abu Khaireni, Dumre, Ghansikuwa, Damauli and Dulegaunda, among other areas, to continue road repair work.
Resham Bahadur Ranabhat, chief at the District Traffic Police Office in Tanahun, said, “The highway has been shut down for two days from Friday, as vehicles could not pass through the alternative route. The road repair work has gained momentum now.”
According to the police, ambulances and vehicles in emergency situations are allowed to pass from the alternative route.
“Hundreds of travellers have been left stranded after vehicular movement along the highway got obstructed,” said Ranabhat.