Heavy snowfall disrupts road transportation

Bajura/Dhangadi, January 4

Heavy snowfall has disrupted road transportation across the country, while at some places authorities have resumed transportation by clearing the road.

Vehicular movement along Bajura’s Martadi-Kolti road section has been disrupted due to snowfall, leaving thousands of passengers heading to the northeastern belt of Bajura, and to Humla and Mugu districts stranded. Similarly, the inimical weather condition has also disrupted regular supply of daily essentials via the road.

“Snow has piled up to three feet at Pokhare Lekh. As the snowfall continues there is no way the road could be opened anytime soon,” said a civil society member of Bajura, Janesh Bhandari.

This is the second time heavy snowfall has battered Karnali and Surduspaschim Provinces this year. Besides Bajura, districts such as Bajhang, Darchula, Baitadi and Achham in Sudurpaschim and Humla, Jumla and Mugu in Karnali Province have also received snowfall. While the precipitation has disrupted roads there too, the mountainous districts have suffered disruption of telecommunication services as well.

Snow has blocked the Bhimdatta Highway that links seven hilly districts in Sudurpashchim Province from Friday evening. However, the highway was cleared after 12 hours. With thick deposit of snow piled up on the highway, hundreds of people heading for Dadeldhura, Baitadi, Bajhang, Darchula, Achham, Bajura and Doti had were stranded.

According to SP Dilipsingh Deuba of the District Police Office Doti, transportation on the highway resumed this morning after the snow piled up on the road was cleared by security personnel with the help of a dozer from the road division office.

Similarly, transportation has resumed on Dasharathchand Highway as well. As the road was cleare, the vehicles

that were stranded earlier, started heading towards their destinations.

In the east, transportation was disrupted for about four hours on Sidhuwa-Basantapur road section of the Koshi Highway today.

According to local Nil Bahadur Thapa, the road was opened after personnel of Nepali Army and Armed Police Force cleared the snow piled up on the one kilometre stretch from Sidhuwa Bazaar to Chitre Nunthala.

“As the snow-blocked road left hundreds of vehicles bound for Sankhuwasabha and Terhathum stranded, we mobilised security personnel to clear the road,” said Chief District Officer Krishna Bahadur Ghimire of Dhankuta.

In Manang, the precipitation has caused scarcity of drinking water, besides the blockage of roads with local streams and rivulets frozen.

Places such as Tachaigaun, Nachaugaun, Odargaun and Dharapani are among the places worst affected by the snowfall.

“While snow piled up to three feet has blocked roads, the extreme weather condition has also frozen drinking water sources,” said Chief District Officer Pusparaj Poudel, adding, minimum temperature of the district has slumped to minus 12 degrees Celsius.