SINDHUPALCHOWK: Around 1,000 Manasarovar-bound pilgrims — most of them Indians — have been stranded for the past two days following the obstruction on the Araniko Highway. They are holed up at Lamosanghu, Khadichaur and Balchhi.

A dispute over the running of a hydel project at Marmi led the locals to block the highway on Saturday. Fresh trouble broke out on Sunday following a clash between smugglers and police. Suman Pandey, ex-chairman, Trekking Age-ncies’ Association of Nepal, said that such disruptive activities would hit the tou-rism sector hard. He flayed the police for their failure to lift the blockade.