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Kullu

Rajya Sabha member and Congress leader P. Govardhan Reddy passes away

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Senior Congress leader and Rajya Sabha member from Telangana Palvai Govardhan Reddy passed away at Kullu in Himachal Pradesh after suffering a cardiac arrest there this morning.
 
He was 80. He is survived by his wife, two sons and a daughter. 
 
Sources close to his family said his body would be brought to Delhi and then flown to Hyderabad, where it would be cremated tomorrow.
 
Mr. Reddy had left here this morning by air for Kullu to attend a meeting of a Parliamentary Standing Committee scheduled to be held there. He suffered a cardiac arrest soon after landing there and was rushed to the Government hospital in the town, where he breathed his last around 10.30 am.
 
Mr. Reddy served as a member of the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly from 1967 to 1985 and then from 1999 to 2004. He served as Minister of State in the State Council of Ministers in the early 1980s. He was elected to the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council in 2007 and to the Rajya Sabha in 2012.
 
Vice-President and Rajya Sabha Chairman M. Hamid Ansari condoled the passing away of Mr. Reddy and described it as a personal loss.
 
"Shri Reddy was an active and respected member of Rajya Sabha since 2012, and his presence would be missed by all who worked with him. Shri Reddy will be remembered for his relentless efforts towards the welfare of farmers in Telangana," he said.
 
Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao expressed shock and grief over the sudden demise of Mr. Reddy. He directed the Chief Secretary of the State Government and the State's Resident Commissioner in Delhi to make arrangements to bring the mortal remains of Mr. Reddy to Hyderabad.
 
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17 dead, 26 injured as bus plunges into river in Himachal Pradesh

 
17 dead, 26 injured in Himachal Pradesh road accident
At least 17 people died and 26 others suffered injuries when a private bus they were travelling in skidded off the road and plunged into the Beas river, near Mandi town, in Himachal Pradesh today.
 
The injured were rushed to nearby hospitals where some of them were in a serious condition, official sources said.
 
The bus was on its way from Mandi to Kullu, with about 45 passengers, when the mishap occurred around 12.30 pm, the sources said.
 
According to various accounts, the driver of the vehicle lost control over the wheel when he tried to avoid a motorcyclist and the bus veered off the road, crashed through the parapet and fell into the river, about six km from Mandi. Those killed in the mishap included two women, the sources said.
 
Several local people rushed to the spot to help rescue the passengers even as police and other district officials reached the scene.
 
Himachal Pradesh Governor Acharya Devvrat and Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh expressed grief over the loss of lives in the mishap.
 
Mr. Singh directed the district administration to provide all possible assistance to the family members of the victims and to those injured in the accident.
 
State Transport Minister said financial assistance of Rs. 1 lakh would be provided to the next-of-kin of those killed, Rs. 25,000 to the seriously injured and Rs. 5000 to those with minor injuries. This will be in addition to relief provided under the Relief Manual.
 
Mr. Bali has also ordered an inquiry into the accident through Sub Divisional Officer (Civil) Mandi, Regional Transport Officer, Mandi, Divisional Manager, HRTC Mandi and Regional Manager (Technical) HRTC Mandi who will submit their report within 15 days.
 
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Three minor quakes jolt Kullu region of Himachal Pradesh

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Three minor earthquakes jolted the Kullu region of Himachal Pradesh this morning, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
 
The first quake, measuring 4.6 on the Richter scale, had its epicentre at latitude 31.4 N and longitude 77.5 E,  occurred at 0644 hours at a focal depth of 10 km, an IMD bulletin said.
 
The second tremor, measuring 4.3 on the Richter scale, occurred in the same area about 21 minutes later at 0705 hours at a focal depth of 10 km.
 
The third tremor, measuring 4.2, had its epicentre at latitude 31.4 N and longitude 77.4 E and occurred at 0908 hours at a focal depth of 10 km, the bulletin added.
 
Later, an earthquake of magnitude 3.7 was recorded in the Shimla area of the state at 1237 hours. It had its epicentre at latitude 31.3 N and longitude 77.6 E and occurred at a focal depth of 10 km.
 
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Two minor quakes jolt Kullu region of Himachal Pradesh

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Two minor earthquakes jolted the Kullu region of Himachal Pradesh this morning, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
 
The first quake, measuring 4.6 on the Richter scale, had its epicentre at latitude 31.4 N and longitude 77.5 E,  occurred at 0644 hours at a focal depth of 10 km, an IMD bulletin said.
 
The second tremor, measuring 4.3 on the Richter scale, occurred in the same area about 21 minutes later at 0705 hours at a focal depth of 10 km, the bulletin added.
 
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Two minor earthquakes shake Himachal Pradesh

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Two minor earthquakes shook Himachal Pradesh within an hour of each other this evening, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
 
The first quake, measuring 3.0 on the Richter scale, had its epicentre at latitude 30.9 N and longitude 77.1 E in the Solan area and occurred at 1804 hours at a focal depth of 10 km, an IMD bulletin said.
 
The second tremor, measuring 3.6 on the Richter scale, had its epicentre at latitude 31.4 N and longitude 77.6 E in the border region between Shimla and Kullu districts and occurred at 1908 hours at a focal depth of 10 km, the bulletin added.
 
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7 dead as boulder falls on building adjoining Manikaran gurdwara in Himachal Pradesh

 
7 dead as boulder falls on building adjoining Manikaran gurdwara in Himachal Pradesh
 
At least seven persons died when a huge boulder fell on a building adjoining the historic gurudwara at Manikaran in Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh following a landslide today.
 
Official sources said that reports reaching the state headquarters indicated that 11 others had suffered injuries in the incident.
 
Rescue and relief teams from the district administration and other emergency personnel rushed to the spot.
 
State Governor Acharya Devvrat and Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh condoled the loss of lives in the tragedy.
 
The Chief Minister directed the district administration to provide immediate relief to the next of the kin of the deceased and injured as per the relief manual. He also directed them to provide the best possible treatment to the injured persons.
 
The building was being used to provide accommodation for pilgrims visiting the gurdwara, built in the shadow of a hill, and many people were in it when the tragedy struck.
 
The injured were rushed to a government hospital at Kullu, where the condition of some of them was stated to be serious.
 
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8 dead, 30 missing after bus falls into Parbati river in Himachal Pradesh

 
8 dead, 30 missing after bus falls into river in Himachal Pradesh
At least eight persons died and around 30 others were reported missing after a bus carrying a group of about 57 pilgrims from Punjab plunged into the swollen Parbati river in Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh yesterday afternoon, officials said.
 
Kully Deputy Commissioner Rakesh Kanwar told NetIndian over the telephone that eight bodies had been recovered so far from the swirling waters. He said the victims included two women.
 
As many as 19 persons who had suffered injuries were rescued from the scene of the accident. 
 
Mr Kanwar said that about 30 people were believed to be missing, based on the accounts given by the driver and conductor of the bus, survivors and families of people who had boarded the bus. He said efforts were being made to ascertain the number of people who were on board the bus.
 
The bus was on its way from Bhuntar in  Barnala district of Punjab to the Manikaran gurdwara in Himachal Pradesh when the mishap occurred around 3.30 pm yesterday between Sarasari village and Chhor Nullah in Kullu, about 16 km from the district headquarters.
 
Mr Kanwar said the fact that the river was swollen and heavy rains last night in the upstream areas had hampered the rescue efforts.
 
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Five teams of rafters had been deployed to look for the missing people and personnel of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) were due to reach the scene later today. Personnel from the district police, the home guards, fire brigade and para-military forces have joined the search and rescue efforts.
 
Authorities at two dams downstream, including the Larji dam about 15 km downstream,  had also been asked to help look for the missing persons, he said. Similarly, the authorities in the adjoining district of Mandi are also involved in the search operations.
 
Mr Kanwar said the passengers on the bus belonged to the Barnala, Mansa and Bhatinda areas of Punjab.
 
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4 bodies found, 20 students from Hyderabad still missing in HP

 
Virbhadra Singh orders probe after students go missing
Search and rescue teams today found the bodies of four of the 24 students of an engineering college near Hyderabad who went missing and were feared drowned after water was suddenly released from the Larji hydro-electric project into the Beas river in Mandi district of Himachal Pradesh yesterday evening.
 
District officials in Mandi told NetIndian over the telephone that the search for the remaining missing 20 students had been suspended at nightfall and would be resumed at day-break tomorrow.
 
The students -- 18 boys and six girls -- were part of a  larger group of second year engineering students from the VNR Vignana College of Engineering and Technology near Hyderabad and were on a study tour in the area when the tragedy occurred.
 
The bodies of three girls and a boy were recovered this morning from the Pandoh dam, about 15 km downstream, and efforts were continuing to trace the others, they said.
 
A team from the Telangana government, led by state Home Minister Naini Narsimha Reddy and including police officials, was expected in Mandi later on Monday. The Director General of Police of Telangana and the Police Commissioner of Cyberabad were also in touch with senior police officials in Himachal Pradesh.
 
Various accounts suggested that the students were taking photographs and playing around on the rocks and in the shallow water when extra water was released from the dam suddenly around 7 pm yesterday.
 
According to officials, the dam authorities had issued the usual alerts and sounded sirens to downstream areas before releasing the water but the district administration has ordered an inquiry to establish the circumstances in which the mishap occurred.
 
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People on the banks of the river alerted the students to the sudden surge in water levels, but all of them were swept away before they could move to safety, the officials said.
 
Emergency teams were rushed to the spot and searched for the missing students with help of searchlights late into the night.
 
At daybreak today, the authorities intensified the search and rescue efforts by deploying rafters and divers even as scores of people scoured the riverside on both sides. Officials of the adjoining Kullu district also joined the rescue efforts.
 
The incident occurred at Thalot, around 40 km from Mandi. The Larji dam is located around two km upstream from there.
 
An official press release here said Union Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju would oversee the rescue and relief efforts and help the families of the victims. Among other things, steps are being taken to fly the parents of the missing students to Manali.
 
Union Minister of Human Resources Development Smriti Irani expressed grave concern and shock over the incident. She assured Himachal Pradesh Minister of Education G S Bali of all assistance and support required from the Centre.
 
She also spoke to a member of the faculty of the college, who was accompanying the students on the study trip to Himachal Pradesh and was present  at the site of the mishap when it happened. The principal of the college has been assured of all cooperation to cope with the tragedy.
 
"Our prayers are with the families in this hour of need," she added.
 
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BHEL commissions 4x130 MW hydro-electric project in Himachal Pradesh

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The public sector Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) has commissioned the fourth and final 130 MW hydro generating unit at Parbati III Hydro Electric Project (HEP) in Himachal Pradesh.
 
With this, BHEL has successfully commissioned all the four units of the 520 MW underground hydro power plant of NHPC. 
 
The first three units at Parbati III HEP were commissioned by BHEL in February and March 2014, a press release from the company said.
 
Parbati III HEP powerhouse is located near village Bihali on the left bank of river Sainj, in Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh.  
 
BHEL’s scope of work in the project included supply and installation of four 130 MW Francis turbines, static excitation system, main inlet valves, digital governors, state-of-the-art control & monitoring system (SCADA), associated station auxiliaries, gas insulated switchgear (GIS) and electrical & mechanical balance of plant (BoP).
 
The release said BHEL has a long standing association with NHPC beginning with setting up of NHPC’s first hydro generating plant at Baira Siul (3x60 MW), by BHEL in 1981. With the addition of another 130 MW, BHEL's contribution to NHPC's total generating capacity now stands at 2,884 MW. BHEL is presently executing three more hydro projects of NHPC --- 3x110 MW Kishanganga HEP in Jammu & Kashmir, 4x40 MW Teesta Low Dam IV HEP in West Bengal and 4x200 MW Parbati II in Himachal Pradesh, which are in different stages of execution.
 
BHEL is presently executing hydro power projects of around 5,000 MW which are under various stages of implementation. 
 
In Himachal Pradesh, another hydro project at Rampur, being set up by BHEL, is in an advanced stage of commissioning. 
 
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Minor earthquake jolts Kullu region of Himachal Pradesh

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An earthquake of slight intensity, measuring 4.0 on the Richter scale, jolted the Kullu region of Himachal Pradesh in the early hours of today, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
 
The quake, which had its epicentre at latitude 31.9°N and longitude 77.1°E, occurred at 0323 hours today, an IMD bulletin added.
 
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32 killed as bus plunges into river in Himachal Pradesh

32 killed as bus plunges into river in Himachal Pradesh

At least 32 people were killed and more than 12 others suffered injuries when a private bus carrying them veered off the road and crashed into the overflowing river Beas between Jhari and Nagwain in Mandi district of Himachal Pradesh today.

Official sources said the ill-fated bus was on its way from Kullu to Ani when the mishap occurred around 4 pm this afternoon.
 
About 45 to 50 passengers were said to be travelling in the bus.
 
Governor Urmila Singh and Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh expressed grief over the accident and conveyed their heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family members of the victims.
 
Mr R S Negi, the Superintendent of Police, Mandi and Mr Pankaj Rai, the Additional District Magistrate, were among those who rushed to the spot to supervise the rescue and relief operations. Search parties have been deployed to trace some persons who have been reported missing after the mishap.
 
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9 dead as car skids off road into gorge in Kullu

Nine New Year revellers, aged between 19 and 28 years, died around midnight last night at Bathbar near Banjar when their jam-packed Maruti Alto car rolled down into a deep gorge.

According to a report received here from Kullu police today, eight persons died on the spot while the ninth youth succumbed to injuries in the Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education & Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh.
 
The bodies were handed over to relatives after autopsy, the police said.
 
The local youths had gone to Bathbar to celebrate the New Year.
 
People in nearby villages rushed to the houses of the grief-stricken families to console them.
 
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Man accused of 1992 murder of Indian family in Dubai sentenced to death

A CBI court in Ahmedabad has convicted Ravjibhai Manubhai Pawar of the murder of his Indian employer and four other members of his family in Dubai in 1992 and sentenced him to death.

A press release from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) said that its investigations had shown that Pawar, while working as a domestic servant in Dubai, had kileld Mr Ramesh K Sagar and four others of Mr Sagar's family on January 4, 1992.

He was also accused of rape and of stealing household articles, including clothes, ornaments and cash.

Pawar feld from Dubai on January 5 and came to India. On the basis of an Interpol alert, he was nabbed on January 10 by the Gujarat police and a first information report (FIR)was registered.

Since the accused was an Indian national and the offence took place outside India, the case was entrusted to the CBI. The Dubai Police had also registered an FIR and collected evidence, which was used by the CBI during investigation and trial of the case, the release said.

The chargesheet was filed on January 23, 1992 in the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate, Chikhli. The trial court found him guilty and convicted him.

The case was registered by the CBI, Ahmedabad (now Gandhinagar) Branch on April 27, 1992 on the basis of the request and consent of the Government of Gujarat for futher investigation of the case filed at the Chikhli Police Station, the release added.

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Rains lash parts of Himachal Pradesh, snowfall in upper reaches


Rains lashed many parts of Himachal Pradesh during the last 24 hours while higher reaches of Kullu and Kangra received a light spell of snowfall.


Mehre received 5 mm rainfall, Jhungi and Karsog of Mandi 4 mm each, Shimla 3.6 mm, and Sunni Bhajji of this district, Sujanpur Tira of Hamirpur and Seobagh of Kullu 2 mm each.


Keylong was the coldest place in the state with the minimum temperature recorded at minus 0.1 degrees Celsius followed by Kalpa in Kinnuar two degrees, Bhuntar 6.6 degrees, Solan and Sundernagar of Mandi 8.8 degrees each, Shimla and Mandi 9 degrees each, Palampur of Kangra 11.5 degrees, Dharamshala 12.3 degrees, Una 13 degrees and Nahan 19 degrees respectively.


The Met office has forecast mainly dry weather in the state during next 24 hours.


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7 die, 18 injured in bus accident in Himachal Pradesh


At least seven people were killed and 18 others injured when a bus rolled down into a gorge near Nali village in this district of Himachal Pradesh today.


The accident occurred when the ill-fated Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) bus, coming from Ani town, fell into a gorge near Nali village in the Ani subdivision. Six passengers were killed on the spot.


Kullu Deputy Commissioner B M Nanta told UNI that rescue efforts were on and most of the injured were taken to Government hospital at Ani. He said most of the victims belonged to Ani and nearby areas.


The accident spot is around 120 km away from district headquarters Kullu.


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Tourist resorts in HP experience fresh snowfall


Most tourist resorts in Himachal Pradesh experienced a fresh spell of snowfall early this morning while intermittent rains lashed low-lying areas in the state.


A Met official here said Shimla witnessed a light spell of snowfall which was recorded at 3.2 cm. Kufri and Narkanda had five and seven cm of snowfall, respectively. Manali recorded 20 cm snowfall. The high reaches of Kinnaur also reported a heavy spell of snowfall at 16 cm.


According to a report from Lahaul and Spiti districts, 11 cm of snowfall was recorded in Keylong town while it was 30-40 cm in the higher reaches of Koksar and Rohtang Pass districts.


He said telephone communication with some villages around Koksar district could not be established due the heavy snowfall for the past two weeks.


Snowfall was also experienced in higher reaches of Kullu, Kinnuar, Chamba, Kangra, Mandi and Sirmour districts.


The official said the low-lying areas in the state were lashed by intermittent rains. The weather later turned sunny and partly cloudy.


Saloni in Chamba and Kumarsain of Shimla recorded 10 mm rainfall each, Seobagh & Banjar of Kullu 6 mm each, Baijanath of Kangra, Jogindernagar of Mandi & Jubbarhatti of Shimla 5 mm each, Theog of Shimla & Nurpur of Kangra 3 mm each.


The mercury fell to 0.8 degree Celsius in this capital town. Keylong was the coldest with minus 7.4 degrees and Kalpa minus 3 degrees, Dharamshala 4.3 degrees, Bhuntar of Kullu and Solan were at 5.2 degrees each, Palampur in Kangra 5.5 degrees and Sundernagar 5.9 degrees, Mandi 6.4 degrees and Una 7.9 degrees respectively.


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All flights to Himachal cancelled due to rough weather


All flights to Himachal Pradesh from Delhi were cancelled today following incessant rain and inclement weather conditions.


Jubberhati-based Airport Manager of Kingfisher Airlines told UNI over the telephone that three flights scheduled from Delhi to Shimla, Kullu and Dharamshala had to be cancelled as a result of which the return flights also had to be cancelled.


According to sources, the Air India flight to Kullu did not operate due to rough weather.


Both airlines had successfully operated their flights on Monday after cancelling them on Sunday.


District Information Officer Lahaul Spiti Sher Singh said three helicopter flights from Bhuntar to Stingri, Sisu and Udaipur had also been suspended due to continous snowfall in the tribal district since early morning.


Road traffic, power supply and telecommunication were partly affected in the state by the heavy rain and snowfall at several places, throwing life out of gear.


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Snowfall in high reaches of HP, air traffic affected


Snowfall and incessant rain, continuing since last night, intensified the cold conditions in Himachal Pradesh today, affecting flight schedule and normal life here.


Reports coming from Manali said it had another spell of snow since early morning, registering four cm snowfall in the town, while Mardi, Solangnalah and Jalorijot reported 10-15 cm snow.


Keylong of Lahaul Spiti received 20 cm snowfall, followed by Kalpa in Kinnaur district 10 cm, Chitkual 16 cm and Recong-Peo two cm. High reaches of the Rohtang Pass and Koksar villages recorded two-and-half feet thick layer of snow.


Hatu peak near tourist resort Narkanda had seven cm snowfall, while downstream area of Kufri was lashed with incessant rainfall continuing since overnight.


According to Kingfisher Airlines Airport Manager Shashi Sharma, the flight scheduled to Shimla and Kullu had been cancelled following inclement weather and overcast sky.


Heavy snowfall poured in Pangi subdivision of Chamba, mounting to one-and-half feet, followed by Baragarh area of Churah sub-division at three to four cm. High reaches of Tissa and Bharmour also reported snowfall as was the case with Dhauladhar ranges of Kangra district.


The incessant rainfall also occurred in Sirmour, Solan, Bilaspur, Hamirpur, Una and Mandi district.


The Met department warned that owing to activation of western disturbances in the Western Himalayas, heavy rain or snow might occur at isolated places in the state.


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