Tuesday, August 10, 2010

National Highway between Manali and Leh has been partially opened

NH-21, the strategic national highway that connects Manali with Leh in Jammu and Kashmir, has been reopened partially after it was shut down due to landslides at various points caused by flashfloods last week in Leh. The NH-21 is one of the two roads that link Leh to the rest of the country. Due to the shutdown, necessary relief operations to flood hit areas in Leh are being hampered.

SK Doon of the General Reserve Engineering Force said, "The traffic on the entire 475-km stretch between Manali and Leh couldn't be restored as work is still on to clear the debris." He further said that the 222-km stretch between Manali and Sarchu has been made motorable and now people are working to reopen the remaining portion between Sarchu and Leh.

On August 9, 2010, Omar Abdullah, Chief Minister, Jammu and Kashmir, deployed the Border Roads Organization to clear the highway connecting Manali and Leh within three days.

On August 6, 2010, the Choglamsar village in Leh was hit by cloubburst that caused flash floods and mudslides damaging government offices, military camps and people’s residence in the region.

The next day, another cloudburst in Kargil area cut off villages and triggered flash floods in Wado village by flooding the Brok Lungba stream.

At present, death toll from flash floods rose to 165. Indian Air Force rescued 81 foreign tourists from Zanskar Valley in Ladakh. It also dropped tents, clothings and other necessary items from planes as the roads are shut down.

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