Mandi, July 12
Pleasant weather today helped the district administrations of Kullu and Lahaul and Spiti to evacuate stranded tourists.
Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu said that around 40,000 tourists and local people, who were stranded at various places in Manali and Kullu for the past three days, were evacuated. Besides, 52 students of a school in Kullu, who were stuck at Sissu in Lahaul, were rescued; they have reached Manali.
The Chief Minister, who is camping in Kullu since yesterday, said that the district administration evacuated 3,000 people from Kasol and its suburbs and 6,552 vehicles had move towards Chandigarh till 4 pm. He conducted an aerial survey of Sissu, Chandertal and Losar areas in Lahaul and Spiti district and Manali in Kullu district to take stock of the destruction caused by heavy rainfall. He landed at Sissu and Manali to interact with rescued people.
Sukhu also inspected flood-affected areas in Mandi district. He said, “The Kasol-Bhuntar road is still blocked due to a heavy landslide near Dhunkhra and the district administration is working round the clock to remove debris from it. Stranded people are being transported from Dhunkhra towards Bhuntar in vehicles specially deployed for the purpose.”
The Chief Minister said, “A team of the Kullu district administration has reached Kasol to oversee rescue operations. The Jibhi-Banjar-Aut road is open for vehicular movement towards Chandigarh. The district administration has been directed to clear roads leading to Kasol, Tirthan and Sainj to enable early evacuation of tourists and locals. It is expected that these roads will be reopened in a day or two.”
He added, “More than 100 trekkers stuck at different places, including in Kafnu and Mulling areas of Kinnaur district, have also been evacuated.”
Sukhu said, “More than 300 vehicles had crossed the Atal Tunnel to go towards Mandi till 4 pm. Tourists can take this route to go towards Chandigarh. Arrangements have been made for the distribution of food packets to people coming from Manali near the Ramshila Chowk and the Gammon bridge with the help of local NGOs. More than 6,000 food packets have been distributed to people in Manali.”
He said that the conditions at Chandratal were challenging due to heavy snowfall but the government was ensuring the safety of all 293 persons stranded there.
Sukhu directed Revenue Minister Jagat Singh Negi and Chief Parliamentary Secretary Sanjay Awasthy to reach out to people stranded at Chandratal and monitor rescue operations.
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