SHIMLA: The Shimla-Kalka national highway was blocked for almost 14 hours due to a massive landslide near Shoghi, leaving hundreds of vehicles stranded on either side of the blockade.
The landslide occurred around 5 AM and normal supply of newspapers, milk, bread, vegetables and other daily need goods was delayed as traffic was diverted via Shoghi-Mehali bypass.
A huge lock measuring over 100 ft in length fell and the entire road was buried under the debris, but fortunately no one was hit by the shooting boulders.
The vehicles were diverted via Shoghi bypass but it was also crowded due to heavy rush of vehicles, including apple-laden truck and tourist vehicles causing frequent traffic jams.
The Public Works department has deployed heavy machinery and huge labour force to clear the debris but the rock was very solid and engineers had to resort to blasting to break the rock, said Mahesh Singal, Superintending Engineer (National Highway), who is on the spot since this morning.
A large number of tourists remained stranded for hours and diverted the route as the road was not opened till this evening.
Meanwhile moderate rains occurred in the state during past 24 hours and about 100 roads in the state were closed.
Dharampur and Kandaghat in Solan district received 39 mm and 33mm rains ,followed by Una 32 mm, Jhandutta 30 mm, Nurpur, Gaggal and Kahu 21 mm, Berthin 20 mm, Dharamshala16 mm, Nagrota Suriyan and Paonta Sahib15 mm, Manali and Kasauli 14 mm and Rohroo and Nahan 14 mm.
The AICC president Sonia Gandhi, her daughter Priynka Vadra and an architect who were on their way to Shimla by road had to divert the route via Dharampur-Sabathu-Jubbar Hatti to reach hotel Wildflower Hall ,at Chharabra , 14-Km from here.