Himachal urges NHAI for early restoration of the rain-affected highways 

Normal life could not be normalized after extremely heavy rainfall from August 11 to 14 which took around 72 lives and render massive loss to the property including four lanes, NH and major roads, power supply and water supply schemes. The school and education institutions after remaining off for the last eight days were opened on Friday. 

According to the state Government baring major roads, the condition of Apple roads including village link roads is pathetic however NH-5, NH-3, and NH205 were partly restored for vehicular traffic. In Capital Town Bioleaguanj-Summerhill road linked to Himachal Pradesh University is off since August 14 after a cloud burst near Advance Study. Similarly, Shimla-Vikasnagar, Rampur-Sunni, and a number of other major roads are restored for one-way or light vehicles.

The State Disaster Management Authority is fighting the flood and heavy rainfall without active support from National Disaster Management Authority. Early warning systems being deployed by landslide-prone areas are defunct and  NDMA is silenet and helpless without issuing one or two warnings of water logging. State Authority was getting the assistance of NDRF however the political leader belonged to the main opposition BJP in media coverage on the spot. State Disaster Management Authority said that 506 major roads, including three National Highways no 3, 305, and 154 are closed for the last nine days and more in the state. 

People are groping in the darkness during the days as out of thousands of power supply schemes disrupted by the rain 408 Distribution Transformer Region are still down and around 150 water supply schemes are either damaged or not functioning due to water supply. The water supply scheme of Shimla town is also affected due to recent rain and people are getting rationed water after a gap of three to four days. Advocated of Himachal Pradesh High Court Anand Sharma said that he got a water supply on Thursday after four days when water pipes in the town were also damaged due to flashflood and flood water. In the state four state electricity employees while restoring power supply electrocuted one each died in Bilaspur and Mandi and two suffered grievous injuries in Sirmaur district. One of them is referred to PGI after his condition is not improving.  

 Chief Secretary Prabodh Saxena convened a meeting with the officials of the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) on Thursday to ensure early restoration of the National Highways which have been damaged due to the incessant rains in different parts of the state. The chief secretary was chairing a meeting to review the latest status of the restoration of the damaged National Highways of the state.

He said that the road damaged due to a landslide at Chakki Mod near Parwanoo on the Parwanoo-Shimla stretch of the National Highway has been restored and opened for movements of vehicles, including heavy vehicles. He said that the vehicles heading towards Ambala and Delhi may also use the alternative route i.e. Kumarhatti-Nahan to ease the traffic on this highway.

He added that the block at the National Highway at Namhol on the Shimla-Bilaspur stretch of the highway has been cleared and opened for vehicular movement and directed the concerned officials to take necessary steps for proper maintenance of the road.

He directed the NHAI officials to take immediate steps to restore the damages on the National Highway between Mandi to Manali, particularly at Kainchi Mod Pandoh, 7 Mile, and Patlikuhal to Manali, besides restoring the damaged stretch at Kotrupi on Pathankot-Mandi National Highway. Till the time Kotrupi Road is restored, the time traffic has been diverted on the Katindi-Jathingari-Gatasani road.

He further said that a time schedule for the smooth movement of vehicles between Bajaura and Mandi has been put in place. He directed the officials of the Public Works Department to ensure the restoration of the damaged roads which are being used as alternative routes to these National Highways. He also directed the Food and Civil Supplies Department to ensure the supply of sufficient quantities of petrol and diesel for the Kullu and Lahaul-Spiti districts.

The construction of four lanes between Kalka to Solan and Bilaspur to Manali could not withstand the heavy rain and it is washed away in many places. The Monsoon is in the mid of its season however the state rivers in all the major five basins are wreaking havoc. Not only the Major river small tributaries and rivulets are causing rain furry which waterlogged Balh, Nerchoke and Sundernagar in Mandi district. 

According to the source, the Tons and Giri rivers are in spate and their tributaries had wreaked hovac in the entire river basin till the confluence of the Yamuna River. Similarly Opening of the Flood gate of Govind Sagar and Pong Dam not only flooded Punjab but many areas of Kangra district forcing the authority and NDRF to rescue around 1000 people and evacuated people to safer places. 

During the entire monsoon rain from June 24 onward Beas, and Satluj Rivers washed away many roads and water supply schemes in the state and also rendered heavy loss of life and property. People living in the catchment area of Giri, Beas, Satluj, Chenab, Sukhti, and Ravi Rivers are living in constant fear. According to district administrations Kullu, Manali, and Shimla registered 0 to 2 percent of tourist footfall. Many ecotourism sites opened on embankments of the Beas River have washed away and also washed the four lanes and other local properties. Around 45 bridges were damaged and washed away in the state.

State Government and opposition parties baring BJP seeking to announce the Himachal Rain Fury as a National disaster as the cumulative loss rendered by the heavy rain beat the records of the past 100 years. The Monsoon rain in the month of July was excess by 100 percent and in August by 140 percent. The water tables are already overflowing above discharge capacity. Many Hand Pumps are gushing waters with rising water tables which were never witnessed previously.

The 100 to 150  yrs old Deodar trees which were intact in every season are uprooted by the cloud bursts losing soil strat and waterlogging in the hills. The most affected area is where national highways, hydropower stations, and big projects are being made. The Government schemes to many hundreds of Crore are washed away however the people are accusing the Centre government and national mainstream media to ignore the rain woes which are mounting with every passing day. According to the state government around 1500 families are makeshift to safer places as a number of houses are in danger line.

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