Himachal sounds high alert due to excessive rain

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Shimla, Sep 20 (UNI) Himachal Pradesh Government today sounded a high alert placing entire government machinery in readiness to deal with any emergency caused by incessant rains in the hill state.

Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal, presiding over a Disaster Management Group meeting ordered immediate setting up of a Disaster Management Committee under the Chairmanship of Parminder Mathur, Additional Chief Secretary.

As reports of damage to life and property were pouring in from different quarters, the committee would regularly monitor the situation through the Deputy Commissioners to ensure relief and rehabilitation of the affected people by rushing rescue teams accompanied by medical teams and other relief material, he said.

Prof Dhumal stressed that the local authorities must press into service every channel at their command to rescue the stranded people and supply essential commodities and medical aids to the marooned areas.

''Wherever necessary, services of the rapid response forces, military and para-military forces be requisitioned besides pressing the state police, home guards and other voluntary organisations into emergency service,'' he said.

He said that top priority be accorded to evacuate and provide safe shelter and other assistance to people who were stranded or were living in sinking areas.

Mr Dhumal said advance warning needed to be issued to the people residing on the river banks and authorities must keep a vigil to keep people and property safe as unprecedented rise in the water levelwas being reported in the rivers and rivulets.

Noting that due to heavy rains accompanied by high velocity winds,many large trees had fallen in the state causing damage to property and roads and threatening lives, the CM directed the forest department to identify the vulnerable trees and remove the same.

UNI XC JN BK1613

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