Shimla-Chandigarh highway reopens as rains recede; 1200 HP roads still blocked | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Shimla-Chandigarh highway reopens as rains recede; 1200 HP roads still blocked

Jul 11, 2023 08:15 PM IST

Tuesday was the first day since Friday that incessant rains relented in the hilly areas of Himachal Pradesh even as sporadic incidents of downpours were reported from other parts of the state.

SHIMLA/CHANDIGARH: As the rains receded on Tuesday, the Himachal Pradesh government focussed on rescuing and evacuating stranded people, many of them tourists, in Manali, Lahaul and Spiti and Shimla, even as several areas in Uttarakhand, Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh continued to be flooded.

Chandigarh-Manali national highway closed following landslide near Six Mile area, in Mandi on Tuesday (ANI)
Chandigarh-Manali national highway closed following landslide near Six Mile area, in Mandi on Tuesday (ANI)

Four persons died when loose boulders fell on vehicles on the Gangotri highway in Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand on Tuesday morning, leaving seven more persons injured.

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The annual Amarnath Yatra in Jammu and Kashmir and Char Dham Yatra in Uttarakhand partially resumed on Tuesday, officials said.

Tuesday was the first day since Friday that incessant rains relented in the hilly areas of Himachal Pradesh even as sporadic incidents of downpours were reported from other parts of the state.

Heavy rainfall in the past four days, however, resulted in many rivers and streams in the state flowing in full spate.

At least 1,239 roads including the Manali-Chandigarh national highway, continued to remain inaccessible for the third consecutive day, a Himachal government official said, adding that efforts were on to restore road connectivity in Manali, Kasol, and Parvati Valley.

Relief camps have been set up in Kullu and Manali for those evacuated from flooded areas.

A sense of normalcy returned on the Shimla-Chandigarh highway on Tuesday after roadblocks were removed to allow traffic, for the first time in two days.

Traffic also resumed on the Delhi-Ludhiana highway, which was blocked at Shambu toll plaza in Ambala district due to a breach in the embankment of Ghaggar river on Monday night.

The Indian Air Force rescued an estimated 300 people, most of them tourists, from relief camps at a height of 14,100 feet at Chandertal in Lahaul-Spiti after four days in Himachal.

The Himachal government has rescued around 600 people from various rain-hit areas in the past two days.

Himachal chief minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu conducted an aerial survey of the worst-hit Kullu, Lahaul and Spiti, and Mandi districts on Tuesday.

The Indian meteorological department (IMD), however, has warned of moderate to heavy rain in various districts of Himachal for the next few days.

The IMD also warned of more rains in Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh from Wednesday as monsoon clouds move eastwards.

Several localities in Panchkula and Ambala in Haryana and Patiala in Punjab continued to reel under floods due to the over-flowing Ghaggar river.

The Army and National Disaster Relief Force personnel were deployed to rescue people stranded in homes and to pump out the flooded water in the affected areas.

The worst affected locality was Urban Estate in Patiala, where the water level continued to rise till late Tuesday afternoon.

On Tuesday, Haryana’s home minister Anil Vij toured a few affected residential colonies close to the Tangri river in Ambala Cantonment. He directed the local administration to make all possible arrangements for the people in flood-affected areas.

Several areas in Karnal, Panipat and Sonipat in the state were flooded because of additional water released into the Yamuna river from Hathni Kund barrage in Yamunanagar district of Haryana.

In Jalandhar district Punjab, a motorcycle-borne youth was swept away in the strong current of the Sutlej river when he attempted to cross a breached embankment near the Dhussi Bundh at Gidderpindi.

Over dozen villages in the Shahkot sub division of the state were also flooded on Tuesday.

Floods were also reported from several other districts of Punjab such as Moga, Fazilka and Ferozepur along the Beas, Sutlej and Ravi rivers.

The Amarnath Yatra partly resumed from the Jammu base camp on Tuesday afternoon after remaining suspended for three days because the Jammu-Srinagar national Highway was closed for repairs in the Ramban section.

About 15,000 pilgrims on the Amarnath route had been stranded because of heavy rains. The 62-day annual pilgrimage to the Amarnath cave shrine located at an altitude of 3,888 metres in the south Kashmir Himalayas began on July 1 and 43,833 pilgrims have visited the shrine till Friday when yatra was suspended, officials said.

In Uttarakhand, four pilgrims from Madhya Pradesh died and seven more were injured when a landslide triggered by heavy rainfall buried three vehicles near the Gangnani bridge on the Gangotri National Highway here, officials said on Tuesday, adding that the accident occurred on Monday night.

In Chamoli district of the state, floods in Jummagad river washed away a bridge, blocking the Indo-Tibet border road and disconnecting a dozen border villages. The incident happened 45 km uphill of Joshimath on the Joshimath-Malari highway. Close to 800 roads in Uttarakhand continued to remain blocked due to landslides, officials added.

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