Amid the rain fury in Himachal Pradesh, 20 people stranded in Manali were rescued on Monday, officials said. Heavy rains pounded the state, triggering landslides, damaging houses and leaving several people deal, on Sunday. The meteorological department issued a red alert for extremely heavy rain in the state on Monday.
In a late-night operation on Sunday, personnel of the National Disaster Response Force rescued six people stranded in Nagwayin village in Mandi due to the rise in the water level of Beas River, they said.
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.
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. Using anchored rope, harness and crane, a team of the 14th battalion of the NDRF rescued six people stranded in Nagwayin village on Sunday while the Home Guards rescued 20 more from Manali on Monday.
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. 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.
About 200 persons were stranded in Chandratal in Lahaul and Spiti. 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.