Devastating mudslides and landslides ravage Jadhun Gram Panchayat of Kumarsen
Shimla, July 20
Mudslides and landslides have caused heavy property losses in Jadhun Gram Panchayat of Kumarsen, leaving residents in a state of panic and sleepless nights. The disaster has rendered many people homeless, while also putting the lives of others at risk. Nand Lal Rajta, a resident of Reog village, reported that the link roads, apple orchards, houses, apple stores, cowsheds, and new orchards have all been affected by the mudslides. The flash floods carried fertile soil from the orchards, causing further damage.
Numerous houses, both wooden and Kachha, have collapsed, and the footfall of several houses has given way, endangering two to three more wooden houses. The apple orchards, including new plantations, have been buried under mud and floodwater, and the footpaths and link roads have been severed, cutting off the entire Panchayat from the outside world. The devastation has also led to the uprooting of apple-laden trees and deodar trees, adding to the heavy property losses.
Two massive landslides occurred on Thursday morning, burying orchards, funeral houses, and roads. The villagers alerted downstream families by whistling and creating alerts, prompting them to evacuate to safer locations. Local residents have been helping shift many families to safer places. The recent deaths of two youths in the Gram Panchayat have already left people in grief.
The incessant monsoon rainfall, especially in May and June, has wreaked havoc on the Kumarsen subdivision, causing excess rainfall and breaking the water table one and a half months early. The rivulets and minor water sources are now discharging large volumes of water, washing down loose soil and triggering further dangers. Water from small Nalah and road drains has flooded residential areas and apple orchards, adding to people’s worries as the rainfall shows no sign of respite.
The administration has provided some relief by distributing Rs 10,000 and tarpaulins to some affected families last week. However, the continuous rain has caused new property losses in the Gram Panchayat. Kuldeep Rathore, the Member of the Assembly, mentioned the extensive damage suffered by Jadhun and Katoon Gram Panchayats. The affected areas are difficult to access as all link roads, including National Highway-5, are blocked. The government is committed to supporting the affected families, and efforts are underway to assess the loss in Jadun and Takoon Gram Panchayat.
Former MLA Rakesh Singha stated that NH-5 is blocked near Shalaroo, making travel extremely difficult even just a few kilometers from home. He highlighted the widespread property losses in all villages, with link roads washed away, trees uprooted, and mudslides affecting transportation. The high elevations have amplified the fury of waterfalls and rivulets, causing unending devastation.
The restoration process for power, water supply, roads, and transportation is expected to take months due to the extensive damage across the entire subdivision. Additionally, there is an acute shortage of staff, with only three persons assigned to one Transformer distribution region. This shortage hampers communication with the administration, especially in villages without power supply. Many Kachha houses have been damaged, and Paccha houses are at risk due to flash floods and collapsing foot and retaining walls. The administration, with limited resources, is struggling to respond to the urgent rescue and restoration needs of affected people amid the unpredictable weather conditions.
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