Nepal-China road link severed

  • Transportation disrupted along Pasang Lhamu Highway after floods damaged a bridge
- KRISHNA THAPA, NUWAKOT

Aug 20, 2018-

The only Nepal-China link road currently in operation has been closed after the rain-swollen Gerkhu stream damaged a bridge at Trishuli-Betrawati road section on the Pasang Lhamu Highway in Nuwakot district on early Sunday morning.

The floods triggered by heavy rains swept away the bridge linking Ward 1 and 10 of Bidur Municipality at around 1:30am. The bridge constructed some four

decades ago was the only motorable bridge that links Rasuwagadhi along the Nepal-China border with Kathmandu. The incident site is about one kilometre from Trishuli Bazaar.

Twelve workers staying in a hut near the bridge survived the incident as they fled on time. “Floodwaters entered the place where we were asleep at around 1:30am. We ran away and saved our lives,” said a worker.

With the disruption of vehicular movement along the highway, hundreds of passenger buses, containers and private vehicles have been stranded in the area. The traffic disruption has also stranded pilgrims heading towards Gosaikunda Lake in Rasuwa district. Gosaikunda Lake is the famous religious site where a grand annual fair is organised on the occasion of the Hindu festival Janai Purnima that falls on August 26 this year.

The imports and exports of goods through Rasuwagadhi border point have come to a halt. The Rasuwagadhi customs point has been the only trading route linking Kathmandu with China after the Gorkha Earthquake in 2015 severely damaged the road at Tatopani transit point.

“The Gerkhu stream is still flooding. It will take a couple of days to resume transportation through the road section,” said Superintendent of Police (SP) Basanta Bahadur Kunwar. Considering the risks, police have not allowed vehicles to move across the flooded stream. The local administration, meanwhile, is planning a temporary diversion road across the stream.

The Trishuli-Betrawati is a busy road section. According to Sambhu Bahadur Adhikari, chief at the District Traffic Police Office, some 3,000 small and big vehicles including goods carriers commute the road section daily.

Transportation along the Syaphrubesi-Rasuwagadhi road section has been disrupted for past three weeks after the bridge over Timure Ghattekhola was damaged by floods. As the authorities have banned vehicles from crossing the bridge, traders have been using porters to carry goods across the stream.

Published: 20-08-2018 06:56

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