Flash flood in Sari Nullah, a tributary of the Beas river, has played havoc in localities situated close to the river in upper Kullu valley.
The loss to roads, bridges and other property was estimated to about Rs 8 crore, including Rs 5-7 crore loss incurred by the BRO and about Rs 2 crore by the state. The exact loss was being assessed, Kullu DC Amitabh Awasthi said.
He said that vehicular traffic on the Manali-Rohtang road had been shut for two days for repair of the damaged road stretches.
“No casualty has been reported as yet in the cloudburst that took place at about 9.30pm,” claimed local SDM Balbir Thakur on phone.
However, there was report of a person found dead near Patlikuhl. Deceased Tenzing (22) of Gompa road in Manali was on way from Rangri to Kullu when he slipped into the flooded nullah.
Col Yogesh Nayar, commander, 38 BRTF said that ten vehicles of BRO and a D class bulldozer were washed away by floodwater. A portion of national highway near Palchan was also damaged, leaving tourists stranded on Manali-Leh road, he added.
As many as five condemned vehicles belonging to border road organisation (BRO) parked along the road near Beas at Bahang, 4km from Manali, were also swept away by gushing Beas.
It is pertinent to mention here that two bridges and several electricity poles were washed away in flash flood triggered by a cloudburst at Sari Nullah between Dhundhi and Solang valley, 27km from Manali, on Friday night. Fearing flooding, residents of five villages located downstream rushed to safer places.
Also, 85 shanties of Nepalese labourers living on the Beas bank at Bahang village were also swept away. Residents living along the river were evacuated in the evening when the water level suddenly rose after heavy rain in the catchment areas. “It is not for the first time that the Beas has wreaked havoc at Bahang and caused devastation like this,” said Khimi Ram Thakur of Bahang.
The Beas had repeatedly been changing course resulting in the loss of properties worth crores for more than two decades. The residents of Patlikuhl, 15 Miles, Kalath and Chauri Bihal had to spend sleepless night on Friday night and most gathered on NH-21 as a precautionary step.
People living along Nehru Kund, Palchan and Bahang villages have been asked to move to safer places and relief operations are in full swing.
A 50-metre stretch of link road to army transit camp at Palchan was also swept away by the swollen river at Palchan, resulting in disrupting access to the camp.
Meanwhile, local police, BRO personnel and a team of Snow and Avalanche Study Establishment (SASE) have reached the spot to take stock of the situation.
The road between Dhundi and Manali had been damaged at five places, the officer said and added that BRO property worth Rs 15 crore had been damaged.
Besides, a 300-metre stretch of NH-21 was also washed away at Budha camp near Manali, resulting in heavy traffic jam.
According to reliable sources, NH-21 between Kullu-Manali was also damaged at a few spots. Stone-crushers and a mineral water factory near Nehru Kund were also damaged.
Local MLA Govind Singh Thakur rushed to flood-affected areas in Manali from Shimla. Following his instructions, two Manali residents Daleep Thakur and Ramesh have started community kitchen for flood victims, mostly Nepalese, at Bahang. The MLA directed the local administration also to provide every possible relief to the flood-hit.