Monsoon Rains Wreak Havoc In Himachal, One Dead, Many Missing
Shimla, July 13 (TNA) Heavy monsoonal downpour disrupted life in most parts of the hill state of Himachal Pradesh on Sunday, leaving hundreds stranded, many areas flooded, one dead and over a dozen missing, officials said.
Properties worth crores of rupees was devastated in flooding and landslides caused by torrential monsoon rains in the Northern state of Himachal Pradesh while several cars being washed away in the deluge became a normal sight in some places.
The heavy rains across the state began early Sunday morning with rivers, streams and brooks swelling, followed by hills sinking and sliding, cutting off many regions from the state.
Himachal Pradesh is feared to have suffered huge losses as the state government has deployed the National Disaster Task Force (NDTF) to rescue the buried and flood stranded people.
In the entire Himachal Pradesh, 29 people are still stranded in the flooded rivers or places, waiting evacuation or rescue. Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Himachal CM Jai Ram Thakur expressing his concerns and offered all kind of help in the affected regions.
Kangra district was hit bad with one death and 11 persons missing till now. “One woman died in a landslide and eleven persons are reported missing till now due to heavy downpour in the district.
In Dharamshala, cars were swept in flooded water and about 12 houses collapsed in raging Manjhi stream in lower town,” said Kangra Deputy Commissioner, Nipun Jindal.
The entire Boh valley in Kangra district is cut off from the rest of the world with people feared buried, Jindal added, saying that updates are awaited from that region. Officials said the surging waters washed away dozens of homes and snapped communication links.
Jindal has issued alert in the entire district, ordering all government officials to be available for doing works around the clock till rain subsides. In Shimla and Kullu districts many roads and houses were damaged.
The strategic NH-5 was closed at Jakhari due to flood and traffic was restored in the afternoon. The NH -3 is still shut with road intensively damaged near Oat in Mandi district and restoration work is in progress.
The IMD Shimla has warned of more heavy rains in the seven districts including Kangra, Shimla, Sirmour, Hamirpur, Mandi, Bilaspur and Solan of the state during the next 48 hours. The IMD revealed that Dharamshala in Kangra district recorded 211mm of unprecedented rainfall till today evening. The IMD has issued advisory to the people to not venture out in risky regions till rains stop.
Floods have become an annual occurrence during the monsoon season in Himachal Pradesh due to massive deforestation and encroachments on the forest land, valleys and rivers, done in the name of development which is environment unfriendly and overexploiting. Environmentalists have been warning of the state government and people for degrading the fragile Himalayan ecology which is scripting disasters for the entire region.
-- Nagender Ranta
(The writer is a Shimla based Journalist who contributes regularly for us)