With 17 more death reported, the toll in the Himachal Pradesh monsoon fury went up to 72 on Monday, as continuous rainfall over the past three days paralyzed normal life, snapping air, rail, and road communication.
Eight people were reported missing, amidst fears they might have drowned in flash floods or buried in landslides. A state government official said relief and rescue operation has been hit because of the inclement weather.
Moreover, most of the link and major roads, National Highways, rail, air, water supply, and power services have been disrupted by flash floods, landslides, and the obstructions created by heavy boulders.
Reports arriving from Kinnaur said despite the tribal district receiving fewer showers, the continuous downpour disrupted road communication between Shimla and Kinnaur districts due to the closing down of the Hindustan Tibet National Highway.
The condition of National Highway 305 on Luhri Aani Banjar Road is not suitable for risk-free traffic movement.
National Highway Authority of India’s Executive Engineer KL Suman said the National Highway connecting Shimla and Kinnaur is blocked at many places and the condition of Ani Banjar NH is also worse. Including four National Highway 838, major roads are blocked in the state. Including NH-3,5,505 and 707. Around 4686 distribution Transformer Regions and 785 water supply schemes are affected. Five bridges were washed down in the flash flood.
District administrations of Shimla, Kullu, and Kinnear have warned people and migrant workers to not go near the spate Sutlej and Beas rivers. Apart from flashflood and insistent rainfall, the discharge of water from dams to desilt hydro projects has turned the situation grim. The floodgates of Baspa, Wangto, and Nathpa Dams have been opened and power generation is shut down in 3414 power projects. Sutlej River is also posing danger to the houses built on its banks.
NDRF personnel are trying to evacuate tourists and migrant workers who are stranded on either bank of the Sutlej and Beas rivers.
On Sunday NDRF rescued nine persons in Kullu. Six persons were also rescued from the Nagwayin area of Mandi district. A car fell down at Peepalhati on Kaidas road under Nirmand police station of Kullu today killing four occupants and one injured. The deceased identified as Jugat Ram/(68), Harday Lal(64), Seema Negi(48) and Varsha (37).
Train services on the Kalka-Shimla Railway line were suspended after a rail car derailed on Saturday evening.
The business of apple and tomato growers has also been hit by the lack of transportation. The agriculture and Horticulture Rs 70 Crore have been affected
The India Meteorological Department has issued a red alert for Kangra, Kullu, Mandi, Shimla, Sirmaur, Una, Bilaspur, Solan, and Hamirpur districts with the forecast of moderate to heavy rain, thundershowers at most places, and extremely heavy rain, thundershower at one or two places.
According to the Met Office, about 300 to 350 mm of rainfall has been recorded in the last 72 hrs. With the death of 18 people in the last 24 hrs, the total death toll mounted to 72 in the state and 94 people suffered injuries. 366 livestock were killed and 191 cowsheds are damaged. Besides this 27 Pucca and 46 Kaccha houses are fully damaged and 68 Pucca Houses and 95 Kaccha houses are partly damaged. seven shops and five labor huts are damaged and washed in the rain furry.
State Administration has canceled the leave of officers and officials who are ordered to immediately join their duty to assist in relief and restoration works that could be carried out in time bound manner. Moreover, officials are also directed to not proceed with leave without prior approval of the higher authority.
Himachal Pradesh High Court and all district courts in the state closed down due to incessant rainfall on July 10 and 11. The court would now resume its operation on July 12 and all the matters listed for today and tomorrow are to be listed on the closing day of courts in the state. The State Government said that monsoon rain had caused a cumulative loss of Rs 781 Cr so far however Chief Minister Sukhivinder Singh Sukhu said that revenue officers are conducting the survey of rain loss and around Rs 4000 Crore of property have been damaged and washed in the rainfall.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Minister Anurag Thakur and Haryana Chief Minister Manhor Khatar have talked with the Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu expressing shock over the loss of life and property in the rain incidents.
The flood waters could cause havoc in the catchment area of Haryana, Punjab, NCR Delhi, and Rajasthan, with all major rivers flowing above the danger mark.