Twenty people stranded in Himachal Pradesh’s tourist town of Manali were rescued but about 300 others were stranded across various parts of the hill state on Monday as heavy rain wreaked havoc for the third day on Monday.
The state is bracing for another day of downpour with the meteorological department issuing a ”red” alert for ”extremely heavy rain” on Monday, a day after heavy rain pounded the state, triggering landslides, damaging houses and leaving several people deal.
Using anchored rope, harness and crane, a team of the 14th battalion of the NDRF rescued six people stranded in Nagwayin village due to the rise in the water level of Beas River in a late-night operation on Sunday, officials said.
In another operation, the Home Guards rescued 20 people from Manali on Monday, officials said, adding around 300 persons were stranded in various parts of the state.
Officials said rail operations on the Shimla-Kalka route, a UNESCO world heritage site, have been suspended till Tuesday as landslides blocked the track at several places while educational institutions across the state were ordered to remain shut on Monday and Tuesday.
Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu, in a video released on Monday morning, appealed to the people to avoid venturing out in heavy rains, especially near rivers and nullahs, and remain vigilant for the next 24 hours as the Met department has warned of heavy rains.
He also asked all the MLAs to stay in their respective constituencies and help the people in this hour of distress.
He said that the state government has released three numbers – 1100, 1070 and 1077 — to help people in distress.
Deputy Chief Minister Mukesh Agnihotri informed that 4,680 schemes of the Jal Shakti Department have been damaged and the loss is estimated at Rs 323.30 crore.
The Chandigarh-Manali National Highway is blocked due to landslides and flooding at several places and Shimla-Kinnaur road is also closed for vehicular traffic due to slides and falling of rocks.
As many as 876 bus routes of Himachal Road Transport Corporation were affected and 403 buses were stuck at different places due to heavy rains.
Superintendent of Police Mayank Chaudhary, who is on the spot, said that all the people are safe and food and essential medicines have been arranged. They would be rescued soon as the road is restored, he said.
Himachal received 271.5 mm average rains during the current monsoon season from June 1 to July 9, against normal rainfall of 160.6 mm, an excess of 69 per cent.