150 tourists rescued from Lahaul Spiti

Dipender Manta

Tribune News Service

Mandi, July 30

As many as 150 stranded tourists were today evacuated from flood-affected areas of Lahaul and Spiti district, while 168 tourists are still marooned. Four bridges on the Tandi-Udaipur-Killar road were damaged and a few stretches of the road were washed away in flash floods three days ago. As a result, traffic was blocked and tourists were stranded at Triloknath, Udaipur and Thirot in the district.

Inclement weather impacted the rescue operation in Lahaul and Spiti today. Due to the bad weather, the district administration could not engage a helicopter to evacuate the stranded tourists out of the valley. Even Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur could not visit flood-affected Lahaul and Spiti to meet the affected people.

Deputy Commissioner, Lahaul and Spiti, Neeraj Kumar said that 150 tourists were evacuated from Udaipur with the help of a temporary bridge at Shansha on the Keylong-Udaipur road. He said that the Shansha bridge was damaged in the flash flood. However, 168 people are still stranded at different locations in Lahaul and Spiti.

"Technical Education Minister Ram Lal Markanda today supervised the evacuation operation, which lasted till noon. The operation was carried out by a team of police, Home Guard jawans and firefighters led by DSP, Keylong, Hemant Kumar," said Neeraj.

He said that the damaged roads and bridges in Lahaul and Spiti were being restored. He added that if the weather remains favorable, the district administration would evacuate the remaining stranded people with the help of the helicopter service.

He said that the government had made all arrangements to evacuate people. He added that a helicopter was present at the Annadale helipad in Shimla and as soon as the weather becomes favorable for flight, the stranded people would be rescued on priority.

Narrow escape for four

Mandi: Four persons had a brush with death in Lahaul and Spiti district on Friday when they were washed away in the gushing water of the Jhalama nullah for a few metres before they managed to come onto the bank. They were carrying a person, who was injured in an accident at Tindi in Lahaul and Spiti, through the flooded nullah when they lost their balance and were washed away. Fortunately, they managed to swim to safety.

Meanwhile, the Chandigarh-Manali highway was blocked due to a landslide near Pandoh for sometime. In the Ram Nagar area in Mandi town, a few vehicles were damaged when a wall caved in and fell on them. tns

Courtesy: Tribune News Service

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