Landslides obstruct Dang-Salyan roadTraffic along the highway is in gridlock after vehicles travelling between the districts got stranded.
Landslides triggered by continuous rainfall for the past few days have obstructed vehicular movement along the Kapurkot section of the Dang-Salyan road.
Traffic along the highway is in gridlock after vehicles travelling between the two districts got stranded due to landslides in several places.
Devendra Kumar Sen, a resident of Kapurkot Rural Municipality, on Sunday travelled to Tulasipur in Dang. The journey, which usually takes half an hour, took seven hours to complete, he says.
“Kapurkot has been seeing continuous rainfall for the past few days. A half-an-hour journey took an entire day because of disruptions along the Kapurkot road section,” Sen said.
Two dozers have been mobilised to clear landslide debris from the road.
“I had to drag my motorcycle for around one kilometre, as the road was very muddy and slippery,” said Sen.
The Division Road Office in Dang has been widening the road, leading to muddy and unmotorable paths during the monsoon season, Kapurkot residents say.
“Road expansion work has led to several landslides along the road that passes through a forest,” said Tilak Sharma, a resident of Kapurkot.
“A month ago, four vehicles were buried by landslides in the Kapurkot road section,” said Nabin Roka, a resident of Kapurkot. “Dozers clearing landslide debris has become a common sight in the area.”
The road section is the only way that connects Rukum, Salyan and Rolpa to Tulsipur in Dang.
“It is risky to operate vehicles in the Kapurkot area during the monsoon, as the road section gets slippery after rainfall because of mud and landslide debris. We face long traffic jams until the landslide debris is cleared,” said Nirmal Bohara, a transport entrepreneur in Salyan.
According to transport workers, almost the entire stretch of the 176-kilometre-long Rapti Highway is in a dilapidated condition because of potholes and landslides.
“Every year, the highway undergoes repair works in April and May only to be damaged again by floodwaters in the monsoon. There’s no improvement on the condition of the road,” said Bohara.
Over 200 vehicles operate along the Dang-Salyan road section on a daily basis.
“We have requested transport workers and road users to stay on high alert while passing the damaged road section Kapurkot. These days, the road section witnesses traffic jams almost every day due to its poor condition,” said Deputy Superintendent of Police in the District Police Office in Salyan Govinda Thapa.