A massive landslide has blocked the Barhabise-Tatopani section of the Arniko Highway at Daklang as seen in this photo taken on Monday. | Photo: Dhurba Dangal/Republica
SINDHUPALCHOWK, Sept 18: The Barhabise-Tatopani section of Arniko Highway, which once served as a major trade route of Nepal linking it with the northern neighbor China, is in a dilapidated state in lack of repair and maintenance.
The government has stopped paying attention to the 36-kilometer road section after the closure of the trade route with China following the devastating earthquake in 2015. Since then, the government has not bothered to repair and maintain various sections of the highway, which has further worsened its condition.
With the closure of the trade route to China, the whole Arniko Highway has been neglected by the government. It sustains damages every year due to heavy rains, floods and landslides. However, no repair and maintenance work has been scheduled.
Dozens of places along the Barhabise-Tatopani section have been destroyed due to erosion by Bhotekoshi River and landslides. There are big and small potholes in almost every meter of the road section.
Especially during monsoon, the road section faces various obstructions by landslides and floods. This has severed transportation to many villagers for the past three years.
“Every year, floods and landslides block the road. It not only obstructs vehicles, but also makes it harder for us to walk while overcoming those hurdles on the road,” said Shangbu Sherpa, 40, of Fulpingkatti.
According to him, landslide debris used to be removed immediately when the trade route was in operation. “However, following the closure of the trade route, nobody pays attention to remove the debris and maintain the road.”