Dharamsala, March 23
The vital Dharamsala-McLeodganj road is sinking at many places. The Kangra district administration has sought the advice of the state geologists to stem the landslides that are threatening the road and other vital infrastructure on it.
During the last monsoons, a portion of the road outside the Kotwali market had caved in. The Public Works Department (PWD) had awarded a contract for the construction of a retaining wall along the road. However, the underconstruction retaining wall also caved in. The retaining wall has again been constructed but is yet to be metalled.
The defence authorities have also written to the district administration regarding the sinking of the road passing through Dharamsala cantonment. Portions of the road have caved in near Forsythganj, 2 km from McLeodganj. People residing in Forsythganj have also complained of cracks appearing in their buildings due to the sinking of the area.
The geologists of the Central University of Himachal Pradesh (CUHP) had earlier blamed poor drainage and a lack of sewerage for the sinking of portions of McLeodganj hills. They say the upper crust of McLeodganj hills consists of loose soil and crushed stones and is prone to landslides in the absence of proper drainage. If water keeps seeping through the upper crust of the soil in the hills, it will make it heavy and prone to landslides, they add.
The scientists have also stated that leaking septic tanks and water pipes in the region are also responsible for landslides in the McLeodganj area.
McLoedganj is the main tourist attraction of Kangra. It receives a large number of tourists at weekends and on holidays. As the road is narrow at various stretches and is prone to landslides, traffic jams are a routine during the peak tourist season.
There is a proposal to widen the road. However, since the road falls in the active sliding zone, the PWD is finding it hard even to maintain its single lane.
Deputy Commissioner Nipun Jindal says that the advice of the state geologist has been sought to check frequent landslides along the Dharamsala-McLeodganj road. Once the expert advice is received, a proposal will be sent to the state government for the repair of the sinking portions of the road.
Advice of geologists sought: DC
- The district administration has sought advice of geologists
- CUHP geologists have blamed poor drainage and a lack of sewerage for sinking of portions of McLeodganj hills.
- Leaking septic tanks and water pipes in the region also responsible for landslides in McLeodganj, say scientists
- The hotel industry is seeking an early solution to the problem of sinking road, as it leads to jams.