Kinnaur and Spiti Valley, both tribal districts, have been cut off from Shimla, the national capital, following the blockade of National Highway 5 (Hindustan-Tibet Road) due to rock falling, landslides, and sinking of road.
The National Highway has been blocked at Baroni, Manglad, and Pashada near Jhakri in the Rampur Subdivision of Shimla. Alternate routes are also closed due to heavy rains and landslides.
The Luhri-Aut National Highway (305) is also blocked at three places and gushing waters have entered many houses. Stranded, drivers of public transport vehicles are running out of food and trying to cross the blocked stretches on foot. Videos of people crossing the landslides on foot amid risk of stone falling and landslides have been widely circulated on the internet.
Ranjit, who was on his way to Bhawanagar from Baddi carrying LPG cylinders, said he was stranded for the past four days due to landslides at several places and a fresh landslide in Pashada on Wednesday has further worsened the situation. Another driver, Sonu, carrying LPG cylinders to Sarahan, also had the same story to tell.
Pawan Negi, a social worker, said incidents of landslides and rock falling were more frequent on the National highway near Jhakri – a location where stone crushers have been set up. Negi said the crushers have contributed to the soil erosion as he demanded the authority to shift the facilities away from the highway to save the hills from cracking. As many as 566 roads were reported blocked in the state by Wednesday evening following heavy rains by the state emergency response centre.