National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has reportedly announced a delay in the completion of the Chardham all-weather road project’s Tanakpur-Pithoragarh stretch.

The 150km stretch is expected to be delayed by nearly six months. It was originally intended to be completed this June, reported The Press Trust of India (PTI).

The country-wide lockdown due to the outbreak of Covid-19 has resulted in labour shortages. Border and state travel restrictions have added to the delay. Migrant workers have also left the region because of the current crisis situation.

The project is designed to connect Gangotri, Kedarnath Dham, Yamunotri, Badrinath Dham and a portion of the route that leads to Kailash Mansarovar yatra.

National Highways Authority of India executive engineer L D Mathela was quoted in a PTI report as saying: “The shortage of labourers, as well as technical staff, has affected cutting, crushing, hot mixing and quarrying work of the road project.

“Even if the project’s construction work resumes after 3 May 2020, it is likely to get affected by the onset of monsoon season in the months of June-July.”

The official added that the monsoon season will also impact the project works. Due to rains and frequent landslides, construction works are often suspended.

The project is said to be closely monitored by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.