Kullu-Manali Grinds to a Halt due to Supply Stoppage

For the majority of August, communication with the outside world was impossible in the Himachal Pradesh districts of Kullu-Manali and Lahaul-Spiti due to heavy rains. This came about when the nearby Pandoh dam in the adjoining Mandi district caused the national highway that connects these twin cities to other regions of the state and the nation to collapse.

As a result, everything here has stopped working, including life and livelihood. There hasn’t been any supply of petrol, diesel, LPG or basic necessities like bread, butter, milk, veggies, etc. for the previous seven days. Additionally, as orchardists eagerly await the inauguration of the road, the enormous apple crop—roughly one lakh apple boxes—that has been picked and was prepared for transit is almost rotting.

Condition of Kullu-Manali

Ashutosh Garg, the deputy commissioner of Kullu, first acknowledged that the major road is shut down near Pandoh. A short while later, it was partially opened for smaller vehicles used in emergency services. Yes, LPG and fuel supply had been interrupted. And we were limiting car fuel to prevent running out, according to DC Garg.

kullu-manali rain

The only other route to the outside world was made functional through Kandi-Kataula, he said. However, because it is so narrow, only utilitarian vehicles may travel through it. He further stated that the apple harvest, which has to be transported out of Kullu and Manali, has been affected and is also stalled. Anil Kant, an entrepreneur in Kullu, had this to say in addition to what the DC, Kullu, has said. “For seven days there was no outside connectivity to Kullu. Even now only essential items are being ferried in and out of here such as LPG, etc.”

He laments that in addition to this, there is a lack of drivers who can operate cars carrying necessities along the small Kandi-Kataula route. Chandigarh and Ambala drivers are unable to maneuver their cars on such congested routes. Farmers have also been told not to harvest fruits and vegetables to prevent deterioration. The sabzi mandi has also been requested to close. Another aspect of the issue is highlighted by Sanjay Thakur, a native of Kullu. According to him, a trip from Mandi to Kullu takes an hour if the national route is available.

Lives Paralyzed

However, the other route of Kamand-Kataula now takes anywhere from five to seven hours. Mr. Thakur noted that regular traffic and visitors are not permitted on the other road. Which is only available for emergency services. The current situation is summarised by Anup Thakur, head of the Kullu-Manali Prayatan Vikas Mandal. “The entire economy of the two districts, Lahaul & Spiti and Kullu district (which also includes Manali) has come to a halt.”

Bhuvanesh Thakur, the proprietor of Kullu-Manali’s Origa adventure sports activity company, has been compelled to stay at home for the previous month. All activities including hiking, biking, mountaineering, and rafting have been halted, he claims. His greatest concern is the long-term destruction that may be wrought on adventure sports. Since this would jeopardize the livelihoods of thousands of individuals who depend on these activities for a living.

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