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KATHMANDU: In the wake of relentless monsoon rains, two major highways in Nepal have been completely blocked due to severe flooding and landslides.
The Department of Road (DoR) confirmed that 15 routes are now operating as one-way roads, causing significant disruptions to transportation and posing challenges for local communities.
The affected highways include the Tansen-Ridi-Korla and Dumre-Beshisahar-Chame routes. In addition, the Koshi highway connecting Rani-Biratnagar-Itahari-Dharan-Dhankuta-Hile and the Siddharth highway encompassing Leghuwaghat-Tumlingtar-Khandbari-Numa-Kimathanka have also been severely impacted. The Jamunah-Nepalganj-Kohalpur-Surkhet-Khulalu section of the Dailekh-Karnali highway, as well as the Syangja-Pokhara road, are also currently operating as one-way.
Authorities have reported that the Hewa Khola bridge in Panchthar, a critical part of the Mechi highway linking Kechna-Chandragadhi, Char Ali-Ilam-Phidim Ganeshchowk-Taplejung-Olangchungola, has been rendered impassable due to flooding. Similarly, the Tamor Corridor road, connecting Chatara-Mulghat-Majhitar-Amarapurdanda-Ganeshchowk, is blocked at the Hewa Khola in Majhitar, Panchthar.
Since the onset of the monsoon season, a staggering total of 17 roads have been affected, with blockages occurring at 90 different locations throughout the country. The continuous downpour and subsequent landslides have caused significant damage to infrastructure, hampering the daily lives of residents and disrupting the movement of goods and services.
The DoR estimates the current loss from road blockages to be approximately 249.6 million rupees. This figure includes the costs associated with repairs, emergency response efforts, and the overall impact on local businesses and the economy.
Authorities are working diligently to clear the affected highways and restore normal traffic conditions as soon as possible. However, given the magnitude of the damage caused by the monsoon-related disasters, it is expected to be a challenging task that may require significant time and resources, the DoR said.
In the meantime, travelers and residents in the affected areas are urged to exercise caution and follow official instructions to ensure their safety. The government is actively monitoring the situation and providing necessary support to the affected communities.
The monsoon season, while essential for agricultural activities for the country, also brings with it the risk of natural calamities. As the country grapples with the ongoing challenges posed by floods and landslides, it is crucial for authorities to prioritize infrastructure development and disaster management strategies to mitigate the impact of such events in the future.