Himachal Pradesh hit by heavy rains, National Highways, link roads in disarray
Shimla, June 26
In Himachal Pradesh, the start of the monsoon rains has brought normal life to a standstill, causing widespread disruption and damage across the state. Notably, the Hindustan Tibet National Highway-5 and the Chandigarh-Manali NH-3, along with several major and link roads, have been severely impacted, making transportation difficult for residents and tourists alike.
The situation on the Hindustan Tibet National Highway has worsened as the retaining wall near Theog collapsed seven days ago, resulting in the closure of the highway. The district administration has announced that the installation of a Steel Valley bridge is underway, but it may take up to a week to fully restore the road.
Further exacerbating the situation, heavy to very heavy rainfall triggered flash floods and landslides between Mandi and Kullu, blocking multiple sections of NH-3 at 7 mile and nine mile areas. Unscientific mining practices, illicit dumping, and irresponsible disposal of waste have contributed to the flooding, resembling a flood-like situation.
Local media reports have advised against visiting Manali, as NH-3 remains closed. The Kullu district administration has confirmed that NH-3 could not be restored by 0900 hrs.
The meteorological office has recorded significant rainfall across the region, with Dharamshala receiving 106 mm and Kangra experiencing 90.7 mm of rainfall. Other areas affected include Mandi with 74 mm, Gohar with 67 mm, Poantashaib (Sirmour) with 43 mm, Palampur with 32 mm, and Chamba with 24 mm. Thunderstorms have also been reported in Kangra, Sundernagar (Mandi), and Bhuntar (Kullu).
As a result of the heavy rains, power supply and water supply have been disrupted in numerous locations, prompting civic bodies to urge residents to use water judiciously. The increasing silt discharge in water streams has affected multiple water supply schemes in the state.
The state government has confirmed casualties due to the monsoon havoc, reporting three deaths, one missing person, and one injured individual. Additionally, 13 houses and 12 vehicles have been damaged. Stranded vehicles have numbered around 40, and the heavy rainfall has caused the destruction of five cowsheds, one school, and the loss of five goats, with 16 still missing.
In response to the situation, the administration has disbursed ex-gratia amounts totaling Rs 75 lakh to the affected families, accounting for an estimated loss of Rs 2.56 crore due to the rains.
The meteorological office has forecast heavy rainfall at certain places and widespread rainfall across the region over the next 24 hours, heightening concerns about the worsening situation.
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