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Himachal

Posted at: Aug 14, 2018, 11:24 AM; last updated: Aug 15, 2018, 2:09 AM (IST)

Rain takes a break in HP; restoration work on, Shimla highway opens

Rain takes a break in HP; restoration work on, Shimla highway opens
A JCB at work to clear debris of landslide on Shimla-Chandigarh highway. Tribune photo

Bhanu Lohumi

Tribune News Service

Shimla, August 14

Restoration work is in full swing as rain took a break in Himachal and over 300 out of 923 blocked roads were likely to be opened by Tuesday afternoon.

However, roads in tribal and remote areas and link roads are expected to be opened by Wednesday.

Shimla-Kalka, Mandi-Pathankot and Shimla-Matour highways have been opened after clearing the debris but traffic is moving at a snail's pace as the risk of landslides looms.

As many as 624 heavy machines, including JCBs and tippers, have been deployed for clearing the roads, said a PWD official.

As many as 353 roads were blocked in Shimla zone, 255 in Mandi zone, 164 in Hamirpur zone and 152 in Kangra zone.

The region had a sunny day in the morning but the sky became overcast later. The local MeT office has predicted light to moderate rain in low and middle hills for the next three days but there is no warning of heavy rain.

Light rain and thundershowers are likely at isolated places in Chamba, Bilaspur, Kangra and Una districts in the next three hours, said MeT office director Manmohan Singh.

The total loss to government and private property was estimated at Rs 775 crore during the current monsoon season, which included a loss of Rs 460.51 crore suffered by the PWD alone. Revenue officers have been asked to assess the damage.

Heavy rain had wreaked havoc in various parts of Himachal in the past 24 hours, leaving 16 people dead and triggering massive landslides that left traffic blocked and commuters stranded on highways. 

A government advisory asked people to avoid travel as the weather officials warned of heavy rain in the state till Tuesday and thereafter on August 16 and 17.

The government has ordered the closure of schools on Tuesday as well.

Solan district bore the brunt of monsoon fury as eight people lost their lives in rain-related incidents. Four members of a family were killed in a landslide in Kandaghat subdivision, while a boy was swept away in the swollen Kaushalya river near Parwanoo. Four people died in Mandi, two in Hamirpur and one each in Bilaspur and Una.  

Six national highways, including the Chandigarh-Shimla, Kangra-Shimla, Mandi-Kullu and the Mandi-Pathankot, were among the 923 roads affected. 

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