Thousands of people and vehicles were stuck after a landslide blocked a stretch of National Highway-5 near Shimla on Saturday.
A 14-kilometer-stretch of the highway before Shimla, was closed since morning, disrupting supply of essentials commodities.
The national highway authority, local administration, police and public works department (PWD) workers have been deployed to clear the road for traffic.
Deputy Superintendent of Traffic Police, Shimla, Amit Thakur, cautioned that it will take several hours before the road is thrown open.
“We got information at around 5:30 am (0000 GMT) or 5:45 am (0015 GMT) in the morning from local sources that a landslide here has blocked the national highway. We sent our team to the spot. On arriving, they reported that it will take a lot of time to clear the road. Then we contacted PWD authorities, ordered the machines and now the work of clearing roads is in progress. But it’ll take around 7-to-8 hours to open the road,” said Thakur.
Thakur added that the route was being diverted through rural roads of Solan District.
The apple traders were worried.
“Market is open daily. I don’t know if apples will rot today, since there is no hope of road to open now,” said an apple trader, Padam.
Many lorry drivers carrying thousands of apple boxes were also worried about the bad weather.
Annual rainfall is essential in India as rains support two- third of the 1.25 billion population living in rural areas who rely on farming.
But excessive rainfalls cause problems like floods, landslides and water borne diseases.