HP weather woes: Force ‘legislators’ to reach ground zero leaving protocol behind

Shimla, Aug 12

The dire state of roads and the extent of the crisis in the hill state of Himachal Pradesh is evident from the fact that even prominent figures, both from Himachal Pradesh and the Government of India, have had to forego the comforts of their lengthy convoys to access the affected areas.

In a recent occurrence, Mukesh Agnihotri, the Deputy Chief Minister and the Transport portfolio holder, had to utilize a police rescue bike to visit the Chakki-mod landslide-devastated NH 5 four-lane region. His purpose was to oversee the progress made by the National Highway Authority in restoring the road.

This year, the relentless force of nature and the havoc brought on by the monsoon have combined to create a situation of immense challenge. Chief Minister Sukhivinder Singh Sukhu found himself in a precarious position when he ventured into the muck-filled Thunag area of Mandi in ‘Rain boots’. Additionally, Revenue Minister Jagat Singh Negi and Chief Parliamentary Secretary Sanjay Awasthi undertook a daring effort, facing sub-zero temperatures, to supervise overnight snow clearance work for the rescue of 300 stranded tourists at Chadertal lake in Spiti.

Even Union Minister Nitin Gadkari had to navigate the ruined spots on a district administration vehicle in Kullu since his convoy couldn’t reach the affected site. On a similar note, the Chief Minister’s helicopter was forced to make an emergency landing approximately 500 meters away from the intended location during his visit to a rain-affected area.

It’s worth mentioning that the state has incurred a total monetary loss amounting to Rs. 6807.22 crore this rainy season. Tragically, there have been 255 human casualties and 290 injuries resulting from 87 landslides and 54 flash flood incidents. This marks the first occurrence in the last century where numerous National Highways and major roads have been severed, with most of them being washed away and buried under debris brought about by the heavy rainfall.


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