DEHRADUN/PITHORAGARH: A chunk of the mountain near Tawaghat in Pithoragarh district broke off a couple of days ago, impacting the route which connects Lipulekh and Dharchula. The route is the one taken by pilgrims going to Parvati Tal and Adi Kailash.PM Modi had also visited the area last week.
Officials said that road widening on the stretch might have been responsible for the rockfall. Rahul Negi, geologist and mining officer based in Pithoragarh, said, “Pithoragarh falls in a seismically-active zone.
Tectonic activities beneath the surface can often lead to slope movement.”
Commenting on the widening work happening on the road situated at a height of around 1,000m, Negi said, “Rocks get destabilised after being cut to widen the roads, causing frequent landslides. It takes some years for the mountains to stabilise once again.”
District disaster management officer, Bhupendra Singh Mahar meanwhile said that “while the road widening work can sometimes cause landslides, another possible reason could be that rain followed by adequate sunshine led to expansion of rocks resulting in breakages and fractures”. Incidentally, many vehicles stopped just minutes before the massive rock broke free. Meanwhile, ecologists expressed concern that increased tourism activity in the area may cause more trouble for the fragile region in future.

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