Mandi, July 7
After a cloudburst wreaked havoc at Choj village in Kullu district in the wee hours yesterday, villagers today demanded the installation of early warning systems in flood-prone areas of Kullu and Mandi districts.
The villagers said that the government must acquire the latest technology to provide pre-disaster alerts to p-eople living close to rivers and nullahs in the these districts. The use of technology in Kullu district would play a crucial role in averting human tragedies.
Remove muck deposited in nullah: villagers
Due to a flash flood in a nearby nullah at Choj village, muck has deposited in the water channel. If the water level in the nullah rises, muck can flow to the village any time. So, the muck must be removed to avert a disaster. — Rajesh Kumar, Resident of Choj village
Ramesh Kumar, vice-pradhan of Choj gram panchayat, said that timely information received by the villagers about the cloudburst near Choj village averted a major tragedy. As soon as people received information about the cloudburst, they ran out of their houses to a safe location. Otherwise, more casualties could have taken place.
“In Lahaul and Spiti, the district administration has set up eight Automated Weather Stations (AWS) to provide pre-disaster alerts to residents. There is urgent need to set up such weather stations in flood-prone areas of Kullu district to provide pre-disaster alerts. We urge the state government to do the needful,” he said.
Rajesh Kumar, another resident, said, “Due to a flash flood in a nearby nullah at Choj village, muck has deposited in the water channel. The rise in the water level could divert this muck to the village any time. So, the muck must be removed to avert a disaster”.
“Residential buildings should not be allowed to be built close to riverbanks whether on private or government land. Such buildings close to riverbanks are vulnerable to damage in case of flash floods,” he added.
Education Minister Govind Singh Thakur said, “The government will take necessary steps to set up pre-disaster alert systems in Kullu district”.
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