•      Thu Feb 29 2024

Khotang cut off from all means of transport

Khotang district map.

Khotang, Sept 19:  All means of transport available for Khotang, an eastern hilly district in state 1 have come to a halt due to floods and landslides triggered by incessant monsoon rains.

Landslides hit Arkhaule-Halesi, Halesi-Hayaram, and Ghurmi-Khurkot sections along the Mid-hill Highway ( Pushpalal Highway) and  several parts of the Sagarmatha Highway, making the vehicular movement towards Khotang impossible at present,  said Khotang Transport Pvt Ltd general secretary Ram Kumar Hingang.

All motor vehicles that left for Khotang from Kathmandu on Tuesday night have been stopped at Khangsangbesi of Sindhuli. He saw the urgent need to go into action by authorities concerned to remove the landslide debris for the convenience of passengers and public on the eve of the festivals.

A large score of passengers heading towards homes especially for the Dashain celebrations are left stranded.

“There is a risk of crisis of daily consumer goods in the aftermath of traffic disruption,” said Khotang Chamber of Commerce Industry chair Upin Kumar Rai.

The incessant rains for a week provoked floods and landslides at a greater level also damaging almost all rural roads in the districts, ceasing the people’s movement and transportation of goods.

Diktel-Chakhewa, Diktel-Patheka, Diktel-Kharmi, Diktel-Mattim and Diktel Panchami routes have been completely disrupted. A road connecting Jantedhunga rural municipality to Sintang, Phaktang-Dhaplanghat and Khotangbazar-Rasuwaghat has remained closed for four months.

Roads have become massively muddy and some parts are blocked by depositions of landslides debris. 

Khotehang, Jantedhunga, Barahapokhari, and Dipurung Chuichumma which lie in the southern part of the district have been totally cut off from transport services, it is said.

Similarly, traffic has remained closed on the Diktel-Baksila and Diktel-Aeiselukharka routes since a major landslide hit Haunchur a week ago. 

The Khotang folks complained that a company owning a contract to blacktop the 46-kilomter Diktel-Chakhewa, the section of Mid-hill Highway, failed to ensure the smooth operation of traffic during rains.   

Contractor’s company managing director Shange Sherpa said they had been working to remove the debris of landslide occurred on June 9 when another major landslide hit the highway.

Pedestrians face constraints for movement on the muddy road in the Diktelbazar, district’s major trade center.  Traffic jam for hours has been a recurrent issue.

The eastern hilly district Khotang has three airports which all are closed at present. The Manamaya Rai Khanidanda Airport which is the most nearby airport from Diktelbazar has remained disrupted for two days due to a landslide.

It is said Lamidanda and Thamkharka Airports are unable to operate flights due to continuous rains and it means the district has been cut off from all means of transport with Kathmandu and Tarai districts.