M A I N   N E W S

Flood scare continues to stalk 56 villages
Rakesh Lohumi
Tribune News Service

Shimla, August 11
The flood scare in 56 villages located along the banks of the Sutlej continued unabated with the Chinese authorities maintaining that the next 48 hours could be crucial as the water level in the lake formed in Tibet due to blocking of the Parechu was still rising. They further said it was not possible to undertake limited blasting to puncture the blockade to ensure controlled release of water due to high risk involved.

According to the latest information, the length of the lake was 6,000 m while the width was 1,500 m. The inflow was 40 cusecs as against the outflow of 7.3 cusecs due to leakage from the sides of the blockade as on August 9. Around 2.5 million cubic metre of water was accumulating in the lake every day raising its level by about 50 cm daily. The total quantity of water was stated to be around 80 million cubic metre. The depth of the lake was around 35 m. The water has been rising slowly for the past 24 hours.

The latest data was much closer to the size worked out by the National Remote Sensing Agency (NRSA), Hyderabad, on the basis of satellite images taken on August 9. The length was calculated to be 4.7 km with a tail of 2.8 km and the width came to 1,100 m. The surface area was 188 hectare, though the core area of the lake did not increase significantly from 145 hectare as on August 6.

The Survey of India has calculated the depth of the water body to be around 39 m on the basis of the cold contour maps of Tibet available with it. The total quantity of the accumulated water was worked out to be around 64 million cubic metre.

By all estimates the quantity of accumulated water was quite huge and could cause serious flood in case of breach of the blockade. Whether or not this happens, the people and the administration will have to remain on guard. An early end to the woes of the people who have been forced to shift to safer places is not in sight.

The preparedness to deal with the flash flood threat was reviewed at a high-level meeting held under the chairmanship of Mr Shamsher Singh, Chief Secretary. The Army, the ITBP and the police were on high alert.

About 3,100 persons have been shifted in Kinnaur, Kullu, Mandi and Shimla districts. The 1,500 MW Nathpa-Jhakri Project remained closed as a precautionary measure for the fifth consecutive day. Besides creating power shortage in the northern grid, the forced shutdown is costing the Sutlej Jal Vdyut Nigam about Rs 7.5 crore per day.

Meanwhile, the flow in the Parchu was normal, but the discharge in the main Spiti river increased slightly due to flash flood in the Lari nullah, about 50 km from Kaza, last night. Mr P.L. Negi, Additional Deputy Commissioner, Kaza, said there was no cause of alarm as the increase in water level was nominal. He said a team had been rushed to assess the loss and provide relief to the affected.


10 die in bus mishap near Kulu
Our Correspondent

Kulu, August 11
Ten persons were killed and 14 injured in an accident near Jari in Manikaran valley, about 30 km from here, today when a private bus (HP-66 8051) rolled down into a deep gorge. The ill-fated bus was on its way to Kulu from Manikaran. Twentyfour passengers were travelling in the bus.

According to initial reports the bus could not negotiate a sharp turn and the driver lost control. Two of the injured were reported to be critical. Anand Pratap Singh, SP, Kulu, said the injured would be shifted to zonal hospital here. Back

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