Monsoon claims 38 lives, losses in HP pegged at Rs 60 crore

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Himachal
  • Updated: Aug 01, 2015 21:31 IST

Shimla: With a total loss of Rs 60 crore, monsoon in the state has claimed 38 lives so far. Despite erratic monsoon, rain has damaged houses, cow sheds, roads, water supply schemes across the state.

Due to landslides across the state, eight people died in Bilaspur, seven in Chamba, four in Kangra, seven in Kinnaur, three in Kullu, four in Shimla and six in Sirmaur districts. The state government has disbursed Rs 1.52 crore to the families as relief money.

Due to heavy rains, 122 animals were washed away, causing a loss of Rs 10.39 crore. Besides, 659 households had been damaged with a total loss of Rs 11.9 crore. Rain-triggered landslides also damaged 356 water supply schemes across the state, causing loss of Rs 25crore. Heavy rains had also damaged horticulture and agricultural crops. Several lateral roads had been blocked due to landslides.

In horticulture, apple and other fruit crops of worth Rs 2.11 crore had been damaged, and water accumulation in the fields led damage to vegetable crops, including tomato. Agricultural losses have been pegged up at Rs 9.6 crore so far across the state.

The rain that was deficient in June remained almost normal in July. So far, the monsoon is deficient by 15% across the state. Highest deficiency was recorded in Lahaul and Spiti with 75% deficient rain and in Kinnaur with 40% deficient rainfall. In Una, rainfall was 65% over normal while in Shimla, monsoon was 18% above normal.

Shimla Meteorological Centre director Manmohan Singh said more rain is likely in next few days. "Heavy rainfall is expected in the next 24 hours, while moderate to heavy rainfall is predicted till August 7," he said.

After a dry spell for few days, monsoon revived in the state with heavy rains in several places. In the last 24 hours, heavy rain was reported in Nahan (181 mm) and Bangana of the Una district (134 mm). Heavy rain was also reported in Paonta Sahib 100 mm, Jogindernagar 85 mm, Banjar 81 mm, Mehre 79 mm, Nadaun 75 mm, Renuka 74 mm, Sujanpur 71mm, Mandi 61mm, Pandoh 44 mm, Palampur 42 mm, Kasauli and Dharamshala 41 mm each, Dehra Gopipur and Naina Devi 40 mm each, Nagrota Suriyan recorded 38 mm of rainfall.

Landslide in Dharamsala village leaves dozens homeless

Dharamsala: At least six families were rendered homeless after a massive landslide, triggered by incessant rains, hit Chohla village of Kajlot panchayat overlooking the hill town of Dharamsala on Thursday night.

The debris damaged around half a dozen houses, causing loss worth lakhs. The village is located 8km from the district headquarters Dharamsala and is inaccessible by road.

"A few cracks appeared on the hillside on Wednesday and on Thursday night, a huge mass of rocks and mud flowed down into the village," said Puran Chand, a resident whose house was damaged. He said they vacated the houses on hearing loud noise of rubble rolling down.

Kajlot panchayat pradhan Suresh Kumar said the remaining houses were also in jeopardy as the rubble was continuously flowing down the hill. He demanded that the government rehabilitate the families at the earliest.

A massive landslide had hit the same village on August 8 last year. Villagers laid the place was not safe for inhabitation and they had demanded the government to provide them land for rehabilitation, but in vain.

"However, the administration washed its hand of responsibility by giving a meagre compensation of Rs 75,000 to each affected family at the time," said Changa Ram, a local. Villagers said the compensation was not enough to shift, so they decided to stay put.

Kangra deputy commissioner Ritesh Chauhan said the Dharamsala sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) visited the village to take stock of the situation.

Rains hit traffic on Pathankot- Jogindernagar rail line

Dharamsala: Torrential rains in the Kangra valley have hit the traffic on the Pathankot- Jogindernagar narrow rail gauge line as the track was blocked due to landslides in Paprola- Baijnath Section, a railway official said on Saturday.

"The traffic was suspended three days ago due to landslides triggered by heavy rain in the region. The track was blocked at number of points between Paprola near Baijnath and Jogindernagar," told the official.

Meanwhile, only three trains are running in the Pathankot- Paprola section while morning and evening trains have been suspended. The 165-km-long rail track from Pathankot in Punjab to Jogindernagar in Mandi district of Himachal Pradesh was once proposed to be declared a UNESCO heritage site.

Heavy rain disrupts life in Mandi

Heavy rain has affected the life across the Mandi region on the second day on Saturday. Continuous rain had disturbed a number of bus routes and traffic flow all over the district. The Chandigarh-Manali National Highway remained partially blocked at many places but public works department labourers and machinery cleared the blockages.

The district administration confirmed that no loss of life or property was reported till Saturday evening and warned people to avoid travelling at night. The administration had also asked locals to go near river beds.

Five died of Scrub typhus, 102 test positive

In the mid of monsoon, scrub typhus is haunting people of the state as it has claimed five lives.

All these five deaths have been reported at Indira Gandhi Medical College (IGMC) Shimla, where daily 30-40 scrub typhus suspects have been arriving for check-up.

IGMC senior medical superintendent Dr Ramesh Chand said so far over 500 tests of suspected patients have been done, of which 102 have found positive. "Five persons have been died of scrub typhus and today five new cases have been found positive," he said.

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