Shimla, Aug 18 (IANS) Hundreds remained stranded in Himachal Pradesh after incessant rainfall triggered landslides, snapped road links, closing of hydropower projects and release excess water from a dam, officials said on Sunday.
Traffic on the Chandigarh-Manali highway was blocked between Mandi and Kullu towns following massive landslides along the swollen Beas river.
Traffic was hampered on 68 roads across the state and the maximum 47 blockades were in Chamba district, a government spokesperson told IANS here. The Mandi-Jogindernagar highway was closed for traffic.
A Balley bridge near Kullu town was washed away due to flashflood.
As a precaution, excess water was released from the Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam Ltd’s (SJVNL) 1,500 MW Nathpa Jhakri plant – India’s largest hydro project in Kinnaur district, which led to flooding in the Satluj river, he said.
In Ghumarwin in Bilaspur district, eight families and their livestock were evacuated from their houses owing to flooding in the area.
In Chamba district, two people, including a 70-year-old person, were reported missing in landslide in Lona gram panchayat in Chamba district. Boulders smashed their house, police said.
Authorities said excess water was discharged from the Pandoh diversion dam, located 112 km upstream of Pong dam, as a precautionary measure. The outflow from the dam was one lakh cusecs.
The Pandoh diversion dam is located on the Beas river in Mandi district. It 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.
However, the inflow of water into state’s Pong and Bhakra dam increased dramatically 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.
The entire Kangra district has been experiencing heavy rain for the past two days.
Precipitation occurred at most places in the state with very heavy rainfall in Kangra and Chamba districts in the past 24 hours, an official of the meteorological office here said.
There were reports of link road closure in interiors of Shimla, Sirmaur, Mandi, Kangra and Kullu districts, hampering movement of traffic.
The spokesperson said the Satluj, Beas and Yamuna rivers and their tributaries have been again in spate in Kinnaur, Shimla, Kullu, Mandi, Bilaspur and Sirmaur districts.
According to the Met office, heavy to very heavy rainfall is likely at some places in the state till Monday.