Himachal: Fuel rationing in Kinnaur as landslide blocks highway for 5th day
The disruption of vital road link leaves thousands stranded and results in long queues outside petrol stations in Reckong Peo amid fuel shortage
National Highway-5 connecting Himachal Pradesh capital Shimla with Kinnaur has been blocked due to a landslide at Nigulsari for the past five days, fuelling a shortage of diesel and petrol in the border district besides disrupting the supply of essential items.
Though the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) has been trying to restore traffic on a war-footing, shooting stones and debris from the hillside are delaying repair. Kinnaur assistant commissioner Sanjeev Kumar Bhot said the decision to ration fuel was taken to tide over the shortage of petrol and diesel due to the blockade.
Cars get to refuel a maximum of 5 litres, motorcycles 2 litres, trucks 80 litres, jeeps 10 litres, and school buses 10 litres. Tourist vehicles and those transporting perishable goods, such as apples and peas, are given priority for fuel distribution.
The disruption to the vital road link has left thousands stranded and resulted in long queues of vehicles outside petrol pumps in the administrative headquarters at Reckong Peo.
Besides transportation challenges, Kinnaur is facing unpredictable weather patterns. A yellow alert for rain has been issued across the state with the weather expected to remain inclement until September 18. Rainfall has been recorded in various areas, adding to the complications of the landslide-prone terrain and hampering the restoration work on NH-5.
The unpredictability of weather patterns is a cause for concern, especially with the activity of the western disturbance on the horizon. The meteorological centre in Shimla has issued warnings of potential weather changes due to this disturbance.