Pithoragarh: Vehicular traffic on the 262-km Tanakput-Tawaghat national highway in Uttarakhand remained suspended and business establishments and offices in towns along the highway closed in response to a strike call by several social and political organisations in protest against pathetic condition of the major road.
The highway links last Indian border post on Indo-China border at Lipulekh with the rest of the country.
The agitators alleged that the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) had been neglecting the road despite its importance in guarding the borders.
"It is due to the negligent attitude of BRO, our soldiers have to track five days to reach the last border post from this road, which too is ill-maintained and incomplete," said a protester.
"The road connects people of the hill region with towns situation in plains, but due to its poor maintenance the residents are suffering... Land slides have also become a regular feature on this road in the past 60 years," Bhagwan Singh Rawat, convener of Pithoragarh Lok Manch, said.
He said the people have come out in support of the bandh and offices and business set-ups were closed in Banbasa, Tanakpur, Champawat, Lohaghat Pithoragarh, Kanalichina Jauljibi and Dharchual and Baluakot towns along the highway.
The organisations also demanded a CBI inquiry into the working of BRO and lodging of criminal cases against it for deaths due to landslides on the highway.