Rains pause in Himachal, restoration work on, traffic on Shimla-Chandigarh highway disrupted

There were fresh landslides near Solan on Tuesday morning and vehicles parked along the road were buried under the debris.

india Updated: Aug 14, 2018 14:29 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Shimla/Dharamshala
rain,heavy rains in Himachal,monsoon
Uprooted trees damaged vehicles parked along the road due to heavy rain at Jakhoo, Shimla on Monday.(HT Photo)

Restoration work was resumed in Himachal Pradesh on Tuesday as rains took a pause. However, traffic on the Chandigarh-Shimla highway remained disrupted, leaving hundred of vehicles stranded on the road.

Railway services on the Kalka-Shimla narrow gauge line also remained disrupted.

Landslides in various places had led to traffic blockade on Monday. Debris on the road had hampered traffic movement even as the administration pressed men and machinery to clear the highway.

Meanwhile, there were fresh landslides near Solan on Tuesday morning and vehicles parked along the road were buried under the debris.

“We have diverted traffic on different alternative routes as traffic movement is very slow on the highway,” said Solan superintendent of police Madhusudan Sharma, adding that the restoration of traffic will take several hours.

Landslides at several places also hit the supply of daily commodities to Shimla town.

“It took us more than six hours from Chandigarh to Dharampur,” saidAngrez Singh, a tempo driver who supplies milk in some areas of Shimla.

A JCB clearing debris from the road in Mandi, which was blocked due to a landslide on Monday following heavy rainfall. (HT Photo)

A statement issued by the administration mentioned that landslides and fallen trees blocked railway tracks at more than 24 locations, which led to suspension of all trains to and from Shimla.

It said, “Fresh landslides are taking place. These sites are inaccessible by road, making the restoration work difficult.”

Train services on Pathankot-Jogindernagar narrow gauge rail link have also been disrupted due to landslides on various locations along the 164-km track.

Divisional railway manager, Firozepur division of Northern Railway, Vivek Sharma said all 14 trains running on the track have been suspended.

“There have been landslides in Jwalamukhi road station, Koparlahar and Palampur areas,” he said.

Also, traffic on Dharamshala-Chandigarh and Pathankot-Mandi highway and several link roads remained partially disrupted.

As per a government statement, landslides triggered by heavy rains on Monday led to closure of 923 roads across the state, while a dozen bridges were damaged.

As many as 353 roads were blocked in Shimla zone, 255 in Mandi zone, 164 in Hamirpur zone and 152 in Kangra zone. More than 300 roads are expected to be opened by Tuesday afternoon.

The Meteorological Centre at Shimla has predicted light to moderate rain in low and middle hills for the next three days but there is no warning of heavy rain.

Light rain and thundershowers are likely at isolated places in Chamba, Bilaspur, Kangra and Una districts on Tuesday, said MeT centre director Manmohan Singh.

Chief minister Jai Ram Thakur on Monday presided over a meeting with senior officers of the state government to review the situation in the state due to heavy rains.

The CM directed the officers to deploy adequate men and machinery in landslide prone areas along national and state highways so that commuters do not face any difficulty.

He also directed the IPH department and state electricity boartd to immediately restore water and power supply.

“The state has suffered a loss of Rs 775 crore due to heavy rains. Till date the government has released Rs 229 crores for relief and restoration works,” the CM said.

First Published: Aug 14, 2018 14:26 IST