Palampur, March 2
In the absence of four lanes on the Pathankot-Mandi Highway, more than 15 small and large bridges have become accident prone. Several fatal accidents have taken place in the past six months. The NHAI has yet to repair or rebuild these bridges.
Traffic jams are common here because the bridges are single track. These bridges were built during British rule. Traffic has increased dramatically as thousands of vehicles from Mandi, Kulu, Manali, Leh and Shimla travel on this road.
Previously, it was expected that the highway would be four lanes before 2023 and that the bridges would also be replaced. But the state government failed to acquire land. Now there does not appear to be any plans to widen or rebuild the bridges. All of them survived their lives. The foundations of many bridges were damaged in recent flooding.
A single bridge having a narrow curve near Mattor (Kangra) and Kalu Di Hatti, opposite a petrol pump on the highway, became a major accident point. Recently, two people were killed when their car ran into their throats.
Since the highway falls under the medium priority of the NHAI, the project may be delayed for several years because the state government has already halted the land acquisition process. Some say the project could be put on the back burner.
- These bridges were built during British rule. Thousands of vehicles from Mandi, Kulu, Manali, Leh and Shimla crisscross this road.
- Previously, it was expected that the highway would be four lanes before 2023 and the bridges would be replaced.
- The government failed to acquire land. There does not appear to be any plans to widen or rebuild the bridges.