Rains subside in Himachal

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Shimla, Aug 14 (IANS) Rains started subsiding in Himachal Pradesh on Tuesday a day after downpours and flashfloods left a trail of destruction.

However, authorities were on their toes to restore traffic on over 300 of the 923 blocked roads by Tuesday evening.

On Monday, heavy rains across the state claimed 16 lives, including four of a family, while hundreds of people were stranded after incessant rains triggered landslides, snapping road links.

The road traffic is still disrupted at several points on the Chandigarh-Shimla, Chamba-Pathankot and Chandigarh-Manali National Highways.

As a precautionary measure, all schools and educational institutes in the state were closed.

The water level in the Beas river rose dramatically, touching the Chandigarh-Manali National Highway 21 near the Hanogi temple.

“As per the latest weather charts, forecast for the next three days for the state is light to moderate rainfall very likely to occur at a few places over middle and low hills and at isolated places over higher reaches,” meteorological office Director Manmohan Singh told IANS.

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Mandi town recorded the highest rainfall in the state at 127 mm, while it was 35 mm in Shimla, 42.8 mm in Nahan town and 34.4 mm in Solan town.

A government spokesperson said the Satluj, Beas and Yamuna rivers and their tributaries have been in spate in Kinnaur, Shimla, Kullu, Mandi, Bilaspur and Sirmaur districts.

“We have advised people settled along the banks of rivers to move to safer places,” an official said here.

Authorities said excess water was discharged from the Pandoh diversion dam, located 112 km upstream of Pong dam, as a precautionary measure.

The Pandoh diversion dam on the Beas river in Mandi district diverts excess monsoon water towards the Pong dam. Otherwise, it diverts water towards the Satluj river which feeds the Gobind Sagar reservoir of the Bhakra dam.

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However, the inflow of water into state’s Pong and Bhakra dam increased due to heavy rainfall, but the authorities said there was no need for worry as the reservoirs still have surplus capacity to withhold additional water.

–IANS

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