Dhumal convenes emergency meeting to tackle rain damage

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Shimla, Sep 21 (UNI) Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal today convened an emergency meeting of high level officers to review the latest position of the damages due to heavy rains and to accelerate relief and rescue work in the affected areas.

The Chief Minister said that the rivers in the hilly state were flowing above the danger mark where local administration had been directed to take all precautionary measures to protect the life and property of the people residing near river banks.

He said that in all 41 persons had lost their life during past two days due to landslides triggered by torrential rain in the state, besides massive damage to roads, public and private property in different parts of the state.

Shimla district was the worst affected where 33 persons had been reportedly killed due to heavy rains, which included three casualities in Shimla urban, three in Shimla rural, nine in Theog, eight in Chopal, four in Rampur Bushehr, six in Rohru and one person had been reported missing in Dodra-Kwar. Six persons had been reported killed in Rajgarh and Kala Amb area of district Sirmour, one each in district Kinnaur and Ani area of Kullu district.

Mr Dhumal said that the Forest Department had approached the High Court of Himachal Pradesh for permission to remove the vulnerable trees in Shimla town immediately as many trees had fallen in last two days due to heavy rainfall killing three people and causing damage to property and roads. The CM directed the forest department to identify the vulnerable trees for their removal.

He said that an Indian Air Force helicopter had dropped the essential supplies of emergency medicines, food stuff and blankets etc at Bharatgarh area near Sarchu border to Leh, where many people had been stranded.

Meanwhile, Karamapa and his team had been reported safe and evacuated towards Leh from Bharatgarh beyond Baralacha pass while rescue teams had already been rushed to rescue remaining stranded people in that area.

He said that Border Roads Organisation (BRO) had started snow clearance of Manali-Keylong-Baralacha-Sarchu highway on war footing and assured to clear the road soon. He added that civil authorities were in constant contact with BRO authorities for clearance of all BRO roads passing through the state.

The Chandigarh-Manali NH-21 and Shimla-Manali road have been made through besides Shimla-Kangra while the Manali-Keylong stretch under BRO is likely to be made through by today evening.

He directed the authorities concern to restore electricity and water supply to the areas affected due to the landslides and uprooting of trees.

UNI XC PS BK1900

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