Shimla, August 13
Heavy rain in Himachal Pradesh in the past 24 hours triggered landslides, blocking several roads, including the key Shimla-Chandigarh road which was closed for buses and trucks.
Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu, in view of the incessant rain, announced the closure of all schools and colleges in the state till August 14, according to a statement issued here on Sunday.
In a rain-related incident on Sunday, a conductor of a private bus was injured when a tree got uprooted and fell on the vehicle near ISBT here, officials said.
A total of 621 roads, including a maximum of 236 in Mandi, 59 in Shimla and 40 in Bilaspur district are currently closed for vehicular traffic, according to the state emergency operation centre.
A key stretch of the Shimla-Kalka National Highway connecting Shimla and Chandigarh due has been affected by recurring landslides over the past two weeks, officials said.
On Sunday, a large number of heavy vehicles got stranded on both sides of the road at Chakki Mor near Koti in Solan as continuous sliding obstructed movement on the road throughout the day. The small vehicles are being diverted through alternate routes, they added.
This particular stretch got blocked on August 2 due to a major landslide in which 50 metre of the road caved in. The road was reopened on August 8 but continued landslides are making the commute difficult. The Solan district administration has stated that only light vehicles would be allowed on this road.
Heavy damage was caused to agricultural land and houses in two villages in Sarkaghat area of Mandi district—Ghomu and Jawali—due to cloudburst and the losses are being ascertained, Mandi SP Soumya Sambsivan who visited the affected areas told PTI.
Incessant rains for the last 48 hours have caused havoc in all parts of the Hamirpur district, leading to a spate in the Beas river and its tributaries. The worst affected are the areas where the nullahs of Maan and Kunah are located, officials said.
The rains and landslides have caused widespread damage to crops, fertile land and official and private buildings in all parts of Hamirpur. The district administration has warned the people not to venture out and avoid going near the Beas river bank and nullahs.
Kangra Deputy Commissioner Niupan Jindal said that due to an increase in the water level of the Beas river flowing through the Pong reservoir following heavy rains, the Bhakra Beas Management Board has decided to release water from Pong Dam from 8 am on Monday.
The DC appealed to the people of panchayats adjacent to the downstream area of Pong not to venture near the river.
In Shimla, three vehicles parked on the roadside were damaged following a landslide at Dudhli in the suburbs of the city. A landslide also occurred near St. Edwards School, while uprooted trees blocked the road for some time near 103 Tunnel in the heart of the state capital.
The ply of essential commodities such as milk, newspapers and edibles here and in upper Shimla areas has been erratic over the past few days.
Three houses, cow sheds and vehicles were damaged near Dagsech in the Namhol area of Bilaspur district following a landslide on the Shimla Mataur road. The administration has vacated nine houses after the land in the area started sinking, officials said.
Reports of damage to houses and agricultural land are also pouring in from several places in the Mandi district, including Chatru Panchayat in the Balh area and Lot and Dhishit panchayats in the Gohar area, they added.
Since the monsoon’s onset in Himachal Pradesh on June 24, the hill state has so far suffered losses to the tune of Rs 7,020 crore and 257 persons have died in rain-related incidents and road accidents, the emergency operation centre said.
On Sunday, moderate to very heavy rains lashed parts of the state with Sundernagar receiving the maximum rainfall at 178 mm, followed by Sujanpur Tira recording 150 mm, Gohar 130 mm, Kahu 120 mm, Mandi 123 mm, Dharmshala142 mm, Berthin 80 mm, Baldwara 80 mm, and 70 mm each at Nadaun, Palampur and Karsog.
Shimla received 56 mm rains, while Guler and Pachhad recorded 40 mm, Jogindernagar, Nagrota Surian, Solan and Kangra each got 30 mm.
The local MeT station has issued a yellow warning of heavy rainfall, thunderstorm and lightning at isolated places from August 14 to 17 and predicted a wet spell in the state till August 19.
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