ADVERTISEMENT

Shimla

Former Telecom Minister Sukh Ram rejoins Congress

ADVERTISEMENT
Former Telecom Minister Sukh Ram and his grandson Ashray Sharma on Monday rejoined the Congress, after parting ways with the BJP.
 
The latter may be the Congress candidate against the BJP's Ram Swaroop Sharma from Himachal Pradesh's Mandi, the family turf. 
 
Sukh Ram's son Anil Sharma, an MLA from the Mandi Sadar Assembly seat, is a Cabinet minister in the Jai Ram Thakur-led BJP government in Himachal Pradesh and is expected to quit his ministerial berth.
 
The family joined the BJP just before the 2017 assembly polls.
 
Sukh Ram and Ashray met Congress President Rahul Gandhi along with the party's in-charge of Himachal Pradesh Rajni Patil and state unit chief Kuldeep Rathore before their induction.
 
Anil Sharma was inducted into the Virbhadra Singh-led Congress Cabinet in 2013 and allocated the portfolios of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj and Animal Husbandry. He was also a Minister of State from 1993-97.
 
Bollywood superstar Salman Khan's foster sister Arpita is married to Anil Sharma's son Aayush.
 
Elections to the four Lok Sabha seats in Himachal Pradesh will be held on May 19.
 
IANS
 

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

Manali, Dalhousie wrapped in white blanket

ADVERTISEMENT
A western disturbance over Himachal Pradesh brought more snowfall to popular destinations Manali and Dalhousie on Tuesday, and lashed the state capital with rain.
 
The minimum temperature here was 3.3 degrees Celsius, while it was minus 3.8 degrees in Manali and 2.1 degrees in Dalhousie in Chamba district.
 
Manali and Dalhousie saw 9 cm and 2 cm snowfall, respectively.
 
"Higher reaches of Lahaul-Spiti, Kinnaur, Kullu, Shimla, Sirmaur and Chamba districts have been experiencing moderate snowfall since Monday, while mid and lower hills are experiencing rain," said a Met official here.
 
Kalpa, some 250 km from here, and Keylong in Lahaul-Spiti have also experienced snowfall. Keylong was the coldest place in the state with a low of minus eight degrees, while it was minus 3.6 degrees in Kalpa.
 
The Met said the western disturbance -- storm system originating from the Mediterranean-Caspian Sea region and moving across the Afghanistan-Pakistan region -- would start withdrawing by Wednesday.
 
IANS

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

Rajnath launches Emergency Response Support System for Himachal Pradesh

ADVERTISEMENT
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh launched an Emergency Response Support System (ERSS) for Himachal Pradesh at Mandi on Wednesday. 
 
Himachal Pradesh is the first state to launch pan-India single emergency number ‘112’ under ERSS.
 
Addressing the gathering, Mr Rajnath Singh appealed to the people of the State to download ‘112 India’ mobile app available in the App store of Google and Apple. Citing the success of Himachal Pradesh in rolling out the ERSS project, he requested other States and Union Territories to make all-out efforts to commence rollout of their ERSS projects.
 
Himachal Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur expressed his gratitude to the Union Home Minister for inaugurating the 112-single emergency number, 112 India mobile app and ERSS website and for providing financial assistance of Rs 4.71 crore for the project. 
 
He also thanked the Union Home Minister for approving a dedicated NDRF Battalion for the State of Himachal Pradesh, Rs 4.2 crore for modernization of State Police force under MPF scheme and for approving enhancement of monthly salary of SPOs in the district of Chamba and Lahaul Spiti from Rs 4,000 to Rs 6,000.
 
The event marks the commencement of a single number-based 112 emergency services which will connect to Police, Fire, Health and other helplines through an Emergency Response Centre in the State. This service obviates the need for citizens to remember multiple helpline numbers.
 
Under this project, one Emergency Response Centre (ERC) has been established in Shimla along with 12 District Command Centres (DCCs) covering the entire State. 
 
The ERC has been integrated with Police (100), Fire (101), Health (108) and Women helpline (1090) Services to provide emergency services via single emergency number - 112. The service also includes a ‘112 India’ mobile app integrated with Panic Button of smartphones and ERSS State website for ease of people in availing immediate assistance. 
 
To increase the effectiveness of Emergency Response, the ERC has also been integrated with Location Based Services provided by Telecom Service Providers.
 
To ensure the safety of women, a SHOUT feature has been introduced in ‘112 India’ mobile app to seek immediate assistance from registered volunteers in the vicinity apart from the immediate assistance from Emergency Response Centre. The SHOUT feature is exclusively available to women.
 
The ‘112 India’ mobile app will be subsequently rolled out in all States and Union Territories to help people across the country access the unified emergency services. The Central Government has allocated Rs 321.69 crore under Nirbhaya Fund for implementation of ERSS project across the country.
 
NNN
 

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

Himachal bans school vehicles older than 15 years

ADVERTISEMENT
Himachal Pradesh has banned plying of school buses older than 15 years and fixed the maximum age of drivers to 60 to ensure the safety of students, an official said here on Sunday.
 
"The government has decided to cap the life of all school vehicles, including buses and cabs, to 15 years," the government spokesperson told IANS.
 
The stringent rules come in the wake of a school bus accident in Nurpur town in Kangra district on April 9 that claimed 28 lives, including 24 students in the age group of nine to 12 years.
 
A notification in this regard was issued by Principal Secretary (Transport) Jagdish Sharma last week.
 
The new rules included that the drivers above 60 years of age will be debarred from driving and a driver must have at least five years of experience of driving heavy vehicles. The driver will also have to undergo eye check-up every year.
 
The new guidelines will be applicable to all modes of transport, including buses and small vehicles like cabs and vans.
 
As per the notification, each school transportation vehicle must have vehicle tracking system, CCTV cameras and a speed limit of 40 km per hour, besides provision of grills on the bus windows.
 
The carrying capacity of each school vehicle be limited to one and a half times the seating capacity declared in the registration certificate.
 
The driver and the conductor should be neatly dressed and wear name tags.
 
IANS
 

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

Snow, rains bring down mercury in Himachal

ADVERTISEMENT
Snow and widespread rains on Saturday brought down temperatures across Himachal Pradesh, a Met official said.
 
While the tourist resorts of Shimla and Manali witnessed rains, other hill stations like Kalpa and Chitkul in Kinnaur district and Keylong in Lahaul-Spiti received the season's heaviest snow, the official said.
 
Manali town, which saw a low of 2.2 degrees Celsius, experienced 40 mm of rain, the highest in the state. 
 
The state capital saw mild rains and recorded the minimum temperature at 7.3 degrees.
 
Keylong, which saw a low of minus 1.3 degrees Celsius, recorded 32 cm of snow, the state's highest. Kalpa, some 250 km from here, saw 4.2 cm of snow.
 
The majestic Rohtang Pass (13,050 feet), located 52 km from Manali, also received snow, according to reports.
 
Dharamsala town saw five mm of rain and recorded the minimum temperature at 11.8 degrees Celsius, while Dalhousie had 10 mm of rain with a low of 5.3 degrees.
 
IANS
 

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

26 stranded tourists airlifted from Himachal

ADVERTISEMENT
The Indian Air Force (IAF) on Friday resumed its rescue operations for the fourth day and airlifted 26 people from Himachal Pradesh's snow-marooned Lahaul Valley.
 
They were stranded for nearly a week in Chotta Dara near the Kunzum Pass area.
 
The total number of people rescued since September 24 rose to over 1,350, including over 30 foreigners.
 
Most of them were stranded at various locations in the Himalayas for the past six days with heavy snowfall in the region triggering massive landslides that snapped road links in the Lahaul-Spiti district since September 22.
 
Snow clearing operation have been in full swing by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) to restore the road link between the Baralacha Pass and district headquarters Keylong. 
 
It was estimated that a large number of tourists and truckers were stranded near the Baralacha Pass.
 
Another large group was reported to be stuck in Suraj Tal Lake and Zingzing Bar areas along Keylong-Leh road.
 
Two light utility helicopters Cheetah were additionally deployed on Thursday along with the three IAF choppers, including MI-17, to speed up the rescue in Lahaul.
 
State Tribal Development Minister Ram Lal Markanda said the task of rescuing 200-300 people stranded in the Saruchu and Darcha by air was being carried out on war footing.
 
In order to know the whereabouts of those trapped near the Chandratal Lake, a team of rescuers led by Additional District Magistrate Vikram Singh Negi reached the lake area after 16 hours of trek on Thursday, Markanda said.
 
At least 45 tourists and others stranded in the Chandratal Lake were transported to safer places, besides 13 tourists were airlifted.
 
Early snowfall in the higher reaches, cloudburst and heavy rains devastated large parts of the state from September 22 to 24.
 
Heavy snowfall on the Rohtang Pass (13,050 ft) has cut off the Lahaul and Spiti Valleys affecting a large number of tourists and hampering water and electricity supply. Weather conditions improved on Thursday.
 
IANS
 

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

Over 1,500 still stranded in Himachal, rescue continues

ADVERTISEMENT
Over 1,500 tourists are still stranded in snow-marooned Lahaul-Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh, officials said on Wednesday adding that the evacuation is on but it might take days.
 
Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur has instructed officials to evacuate those stranded on a priority basis, a statement said. 
 
A total of 300 people were evacuated by Tuesday evening most of whom were faculty and students from IITs Mandi, Roorkee, Guwahati and Mumbai and some foreigners.
 
On Wednesday as the weather cleared, the state government and the Indian Air Force (IAF) stepped up their efforts to airlift tourists stranded for the past four days.
 
"Choppers of the Indian Air Force and the state government are on the job to airlift those stranded. Most of them will be brought to Kullu town," Kullu Deputy Commissioner Yunus Khan told IANS.
 
The IAF has deployed three helicopters, while the state is using the Chief Minister's official chopper.
 
Early snowfall in higher reaches, cloud burst and heavy rains devastated large parts of the state from September 22 to 24. Kullu and Lahaul-Spiti were the worst affected districts.
 
Heavy snowfall on the Rohtang Pass has cut off the Lahaul and Spiti Valleys affecting a large number of tourists who went to Leh and Lahaul. They have been stranded at number of isolated locations, the Broader Roads Organisation (BRO) said.
 
The BRO, a wing of the Defence Ministry has started clearing the snow from various roads on a war footing. Some of the stretches had over eight feet of snow.
 
From the Project Rohtang Tunnel, a team under leadership of Major Shashi Chauhan and Captain Aashish Singla along with machinery have been deployed to clear road axis up to Sissu and Koksar in the Lahaul Valley to supplement efforts of the the BRO.
 
The BRO is also providing medical aid and refreshment to rescued people at the Project Rohtang Tunnel.
 
IANS
 

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

Himachal rains claim 8 lives; hundreds stranded

Heavy rains in Himachal Pradesh on Monday claimed eight lives and hundreds, including school students, remained stranded across the state after incessant rainfall for the third consecutive day, triggering landslides and snapping over 200 road links, officials said.

 
Flash flood washes away vehicles in Himachal Pradesh
 
 
Heavy rains in Himachal Pradesh on Monday claimed eight lives and hundreds, including school students, remained stranded across the state after incessant rainfall for the third consecutive day, triggering landslides and snapping over 200 road links, officials said.
 
Three people were washed away near Manali late on Sunday night when their vehicle fell into the swollen Beas river.
 
Elsewhere, two people were washed away in the Parbati river in the Manikaran valley, while one girl died near Bajaura. Both incidents occurred in Kullu, one of the worst affected districts by flashfloods.
 
A man was drowned in a swollen rivulet near Palampur town in Kangra district, while another was killed when a building was washed away in a rivulet in Una district.
 
Several houses in Kullu town were swept away in flashfloods as the Beas is flowing above the danger mark.
 
Kullu Deputy Commissioner Yunus Khan told IANS that a "high alert" has been issued in the district as most of the rivers and their tributaries were in spate.
 
In Chamba district, the Ravi river was flowing at the danger mark and people were evacuated from low-lying areas.
 
Around 1,000 school students have been moved to safer places in Holi area of Chamba. They had gathered there for the 23rd District Primary School Sports Tournament, a government spokesperson told IANS.
 
Likewise, over 800 people, comprising tourists and locals, have been rescued from various places in and around Lahaul Valley in Lahaul-Spiti district. The area witnessed snowfall too.
 
"No tourist or local is stranded on the road. All people have been moved to safer places in Koksar, Marhi and Keylong last (Sunday) evening," he said, adding that telephone lines in the area have been badly affected.
 
Reports said five faculty members of the IIT-Mandi went missing in the Chandratal (4,300 metre high) in Lahaul-Spiti. They had gone there for trekking.
 
On government's request, the Indian Air Force has stationed a chopper in Kullu town, some 200 km from the state capital, to deal with any emergency.
 
Heavy landslides hit vehicular movement on the Chandigarh-Manali highway beyond Mandi town and on the Pathankot-Chamba highway.
 
After three consecutive days of incessant rains, over 200 roads in the state interiors remained closed to traffic, stranding travellers and commuters.
 
Road links to Kinnaur district and towns in Shimla district such as Narkanda, Jubbal, Kharapathar, Rohru and Chopal have been cut-off owing to landslips, a government official told IANS.
 
Three bridges were washed away in Kullu and Manali towns.
 
While picturesque tourist town Dalhousie recorded the highest rainfall in the state at 180 mm, it was 120 mm in Manali and Kangra each and 108 mm in Palampur.
 
State capital Shimla saw 23 mm of rain.
 
ADVERTISEMENT
The higher reaches of Kullu, Kinnaur and Lahaul-Spiti districts experienced snowfalls. Keylong town in Lahaul-Spiti district saw over two feet of snow.
 
The highway that connects Manali with Leh in Jammu and Kashmir has been closed for traffic owing to heavy snow since Saturday, the official said.
 
There are chances of moderate to heavy rainfall in the state till Tuesday, a Met Department official told IANS.
 
He said most of the areas in the state, particularly Shimla, Solan, Kullu, Sirmaur and Mandi districts, have been experiencing moderate to heavy rainfall.
 
The government has announced closure of all educational institutions in Chamba, Kullu, Sirmaur, Kangra, Kullu and Hamirpur districts till September 25.
 
An Indian Air Force chopper rescued on Sunday 19 people stuck in a flashflood in Dobi in Kullu district.
 
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 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.
 
Authorities of the Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) said excess water from the Pong Dam could be released due to high inflow in the reservoir.
 
Officials said more showers in the state could aggravate the flood-like situation in neighbouring Punjab and Haryana.
 
All the major rivers of the hill state -- the Satluj, Beas and Yamuna -- enter Punjab and Haryana.
 
IANS
 

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

Himachal roads closed after heavy rains

ADVERTISEMENT
Himachal Pradesh on Monday continued to experience heavy to extremely heavy rains, causing major landslides and blocking highways and link roads, while all major rivers and their tributaries were in spate, officials said here.
 
Heavy landslides hit vehicular movement on the Chandigarh-Manali highway beyond Mandi town and on the Pathankot-Chamba highway. However, there was no loss of life.
 
After three consecutive days of incessant rains, most of the roads in the state interiors remained closed to traffic, stranding travellers and commuters.
 
Road links to Kinnaur district and towns in Shimla district such as Narkanda, Jubbal, Kharapathar, Rohru and Chopal have been cut off owing to landslips, a government official told IANS.
 
Three bridges were washed away in Kullu and Manali towns.
 
While picturesque tourist town Manali recorded the highest rainfall in the state on the second consecutive day at 121 mm, it was 120 mm in Kangra, 170 mm in Dalhousie and 108 mm in Palampur.
 
State capital Shimla saw 23 mm of rain.
 
The higher reaches of Kullu, Kinnaur and Lahaul-Spiti districts experienced snowfalls. Keylong town in Lahaul-Spiti district saw over two feet of snow.
 
The highway that connects Manali with Leh in Jammu and Kashmir has been closed for traffic owing to heavy snow, the official said.
 
There are chances of moderate to heavy rainfall in the state till Tuesday, a Met Department official told IANS.
 
He said most of the areas in the state, particularly Shimla, Solan, Kullu, Sirmaur and Mandi districts, have been experiencing moderate to heavy rainfall.
 
The government has announced closure of all educational institutions in Chamba, Kullu, Sirmaur, Kangra, Kullu and Hamirpur districts till September 25, while in Bilaspur and Shimla district on Monday.
 
An Indian Air Force chopper rescued 19 people on Sunday as they were stuck in a flash flood in Dobi in Kullu district.
 
A government spokesperson said 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 the 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 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.
 
Officials said more showers in the state could aggravate the flood-like situation in neighbouring Punjab and Haryana.
 
All the major rivers of the hill state -- the Satluj, Beas and Yamuna -- enter Punjab and Haryana.
 
IANS
 

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

Three child killers given death penalty by court in Shimla

ADVERTISEMENT
It's gallows for the three persons who kidnapped and killed four-year-old Yug Gupta, their neighbour, after enticing him with a chocolate some four years ago.
 
Shimla District and Sessions Judge Virender Singh on Wednesday pronounced the verdict awarding capital punishment to all the three convicts -- Chander Sharma, Tajender and Vikrant -- for murdering the child after failing to get ransom.
 
The victim's parents and grandmother were in tears when the sentence was pronounced. The court had convicted them on August 6. 
 
Yug's skeletal remains were recovered from a municipal water supply tank in August 2016, two years after he was reported missing. The child had been tortured, starved and forced to consume liquor before he was thrown into the tank.
 
The police had charged three youths, who were the victim's neighbours, with murder. They had been in police custody since their arrest in August 2016.
 
A chargesheet filed by the Himachal Pardesh police's Crime Investigation Department (CID) on October 25, 2017, said the child had been missing from his residence since June 14, 2014.
 
The accused kept on demanding the ransom even after killing the child, said the CID. On June 27, 2016, the family received a ransom letter demanding Rs 3.6 crore. This was followed by three more ransom letters.
 
An angry crowd had thrashed the two accused, Chander Sharma and Tajinder Singh, in August 2017 at the district court complex when they were taken there for a court hearing.
 
The state capital had witnessed demonstrations and candle light marches after the crime.
 
IANS
 

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

Landslide blocks Chandigarh-Manali highway

ADVERTISEMENT
Traffic on the Chandigarh-Manali national highway has been blocked following a massive landslide along the Beas river in Himachal Pradesh, police said on Saturday.
 
However, there were no reports of any casualties.
 
Nearly 100 metres of the national highway was badly damaged in the landslide that occurred near Aut in Mandi district on Friday night.
 
Hundreds of vehicles remained stranded on both sides of the affected area.
 
District authorities claimed that traffic was partially restored for small vehicles through diversions on alternate roads.
 
"JCB machines are trying to clear the debris and likely to restored by afternoon," said a district official.
 
The National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) and district authorities have deployed equipment to remove the debris.
 
IANS

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

16 killed in Himachal rains, hundreds stranded

 
Schools, highways shut due to heavy rains in Shimla, Mandi
 
 
Heavy rains in Himachal Pradesh claimed 16 lives, including four of a family, while hundreds of people were stranded across the state after incessant rains triggered landslides, snapping road links, officials said on Monday.
 
A government advisory advised people to avoid travel as the weather officials warned of heavy rains in the state till Tuesday and thereafter on August 16 and 17.
 
Four members of a family were killed in a landslide in Kandaghat subdivision in Solan district. A boy was washed away in the swollen Kaushalya river near Parwanoo in the district. A total of eight persons lost their lives in rain-related incidents in the district.
 
Landslides led to the death of three persons in Mandi district, while road traffic was disrupted for hours on the Chandigarh-Shimla, Shimla-Nahan, Chamba-Pathankot and Mandi-Pathankot highways.
 
Additional Chief Secretary Manisha Nanda said that 923 roads were closed due to landslides, including six National Highways, and that men and machinery had been pressed into service to open these roads to traffic as soon as possible.
 
Presiding over a review meeting here on the damage caused by rains, Chief Secretary Vineet Chawdhry said the state had released Rs 96.50 crore for relief and rescue operations.
 
As a precautionary measure, all schools and educational institutes in the state will remain closed on Tuesday too.
 
The water level in the Beas river rose dramatically, touching the Chandigarh-Manali National Highway 21 near the Hanogi temple. Traffic on the stretch was suspended owing to the development.
 
All trains on the Kalka-Shimla route were cancelled due to landslips on the tracks.
 
After heavy overnight rains, most roads in Himachal interiors remained closed to traffic on Monday, leaving hundreds of commuters stranded.
 
Vehicular movement in Kinnaur district was suspended due to landslides at several places on the Hindustan-Tibet Road.
 
An official said traffic in higher reaches of Kinnaur, Shimla, Chamba, Mandi, Kullu and Sirmaur districts was the worst affected and efforts were on to restore it.
 
ADVERTISEMENT
According to the Met office here, moderate to heavy rains have occurred in most parts of the state since Sunday.
 
Extremely heavy rainfall occurred at isolated places in Solan, Mandi, Sirmaur, Kangra and Hamirpur districts. Heavy to very heavy rainfall occurred at a few places in Shimla, Kullu, Una, Bilaspur and Chamba districts, a statement by the meteorological office said.
 
Sujanpur Tira town in Hamirpur district recorded the highest rainfall in the state at 307 mm, while it was 300 mm in Arki town in Solan district and 239 mm in Paonta Sahib in Sirmaur district.
 
Baijnath town in Kangra district recorded 235 mm in the past 24 hours, while Palampur town recorded 212 mm.
 
It was 142 mm in Dharamsala town, 117 mm in Kasauli, 129 mm in Solan town and 72 mm in Dalhousie.
 
State capital Shimla recorded 172 mm rainfall within 24 hours in this month - the highest precipitation since 2011, a meteorological official said.
 
Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) authorities released excess water from the Pandoh dam into the Beas river as heavy rain abnormally increased the water level in the reservoir, the official said.
 
The water level in the major rivers of the state - the Satluj, Beas and Yamuna - which enter the neighbouring states of Punjab and Haryana has also increased, a government official said.
 
"Continuous heavy rains have increased the water level in the Beas river and its tributaries, including the Parvati and the Tirthan," the official added.
 
IANS
 

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

Rain claims 5 lives in Himachal; hundreds stranded as highways shut

ADVERTISEMENT
Heavy rains in Himachal Pradesh claimed five lives and hundreds remained stranded across the state after incessant rainfall triggered landslides and snapped road links, an official said on Monday.
 
Three persons were killed in Mandi district in landslide incidents, while a boy was washed away in the swollen Kaushalya river near Parwanoo in Solan district.
 
Reports said five persons were buried under a landslide near Chakla village in Kandaghat in Solan district. One of them reportedly died. Rescue work is still on.
 
After heavy overnight rains, most of the roads in the interiors of the state remained closed to traffic on Monday, stranding hundreds of travellers and commuters.
 
The Chandigarh-Manali National Highway-21 has been closed for vehicles near Mandi town, an official said. Likewise, traffic on the Chandigarh-Shimla National Highway-5 was hampered near Chakki Ka Mor in Solan district.
 
The Mandi-Pathankot, the Chamba-Pathankot and the Shimla-Nahan national highways were blocked by landslides.
 
Vehicular movement in Kinnaur district remained suspended since a large stretch of the Hindustan-Tibet Road has been under landslides at several points.
 
An official said the road network in the higher reaches of Kinnaur, Shimla, Chamba, Mandi, Kullu and Sirmaur districts was the worst affected and efforts were being made to reopen it.
 
As a precautionary measure, all schools and educational institutes in Shimla, Solan, Kullu, Hamirpur, Kangra, Kinnaur and Mandi districts were closed for the day.
 
According to the Met office here, moderate to heavy showers have occurred in most parts of the state since Sunday.
 
Paonta Sahib in Sirmaur district recorded the highest rainfall in the state at 239 mm, while it was 238 mm in Sujanpur Tira town in Hamirpur district. 
 
Nehri town in Mandi district recorded 235 mm in the past 24 hours, while Palampur town recorded 212 mm.
 
It was 172 mm in the state capital, 142 in Dharamsala town, 98 mm in Kasauli, 94 mm in Solan town and 57 mm in Dalhousie.
 
The weather office has forecast heavy rains across the state till Tuesday.
 
IANS
 

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

Heavy rains in Himachal close highways; hundreds stranded

ADVERTISEMENT
After heavy overnight rains, most of the roads in the interiors of Himachal Pradesh remained closed to traffic on Monday, stranding hundreds of travellers and commuters.
 
The Chandigarh-Manali National Highway-21 has been closed for vehicles near Mandi town, an official said. Likewise, the Chandigarh-Shimla National Highway-5 was hampered near Jabli town in Solan district.
 
Vehicular movement in Kinnaur district remained suspended since a large stretch of the Hindustan-Tibet Road has been under landslides at several points.
 
Reports said five persons were buried under a landslide in Kandaghat area in Solan district. One of them reportedly died as rescue work was still on.
 
An official said the road network in the higher reaches of Kinnaur, Shimla, Chamba, Mandi, Kullu and Sirmaur districts was the worst affected and efforts were being made to reopen it.
 
As a precautionary measure, all schools and educational institutes in Shimla and Mandi districts have been closed for the day.
 
According to the Met office here, moderate to heavy showers have occurred in most parts of the state since Sunday.
 
Nehri town in Mandi district recorded the highest rainfall in the state at 235 mm. Dharamsala town recorded 110 mm rain in the past 24 hours, while it was 100 mm here in the state capital, 98 mm in Kasauli, 94 mm in Solan town and 57 mm in Dalhousie.
 
The weather office has forecast heavy rains across the state till Tuesday.
 
IANS
 

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

Pune pilgrim killed, three washed away in Himachal flashflood

ADVERTISEMENT
A woman pilgrim from Pune in Maharashtra was washed away and three other persons were reported missing in a flash flood triggered by heavy rains in Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh on Saturday while they were on way to Kinner Kailash, police said.
 
While the deceased was identified as Sangeeta Morey, the three missing persons remained unidentified, a police official told IANS on the phone.
 
As many as 163 persons were rescued while 35 others are still stranded at different location en route Kinner Kailash.
 
Most pilgrims were trapped in the Ganesh park area near Kinner Kailash, dedicated to Lord Shiva's 79-foot vertical rock Shiva Lingam at a height of around 6,050 metres above average sea level.
 
The district administration deployed police, Home Guards and Indo-Tibetan Border Police jawans for search and rescue operation, Acting Deputy Commissioner Avninder Kumar said.
 
Kinner Kailash trek is considered the toughest as it takes at least two days to complete.
 
The pilgrimage is yet to start officially.
 
IANS
 
(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)
 
Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

Minor earthquake shakes Shimla region of Himachal Pradesh

ADVERTISEMENT
An earthquake of slight intensity, measuring 3.2 on the Richter scale, shook the Shimla region of Himachal Pradesh in the early hours of today.
 
A bulletin rom the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said the quake, which had its epicentre at latitude 31.4°N and longitude 77.7°E, occurred at 0336 hours at a focal depth of 5 km.
 
NNN
 
 
 
 
 
Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

Seven killed in Himachal bus accident

ADVERTISEMENT
At least seven persons were killed and 20 injured when a Himachal Road Transport Corporation bus skidded off the road and rolled down a hill near Chhaila on Friday, the police said.
 
Most of the injured have been admitted to the Indira Gandhi Medical College and Hospital here.
 
The bus was on its way to Tikkar from Shimla when the accident occurred on the Theog-Hatkoti road, 42 km from here.
 
Witnesses told the police the bus driver probably lost control over the vehicle when it was descending a steep gradient.
 
The administration had a tough time extricating the victims from the badly mangled wreckage after the people in the area launched the initial rescue bid.
 
IANS
 
 
 
Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

Construction banned, fest postponed in Shimla over water woes

ADVERTISEMENT
Acting tough over the acute shortage of portable water in the state capital for almost a week, the Himachal Pradesh High Court on Tuesday suspended all construction activity for a week and said no water would be supplied through tankers to VIPs, including judges.
 
The much awaited five-day annual summer festival of dance and music here, set to begin on June 1, has also been postponed due to the water scarcity.
 
In a resumed hearing, a division bench headed by acting Chief Justice Sanjay Karol directed the state that all construction activity within the Shimla planning area will forthwith remain suspended for at least one week.
 
Thereafter, depending upon the prevalent situation, a committee will take an appropriate decision in this regard.
 
"An endeavour shall be made by the Chief Secretary to immediately approach the army authorities for diverting the water used for watering the golf course at Annadale as also the Indian Institute of Advanced Studies, which has got huge water storage tanks, to meet emergent situation within the municipal limits of Shimla," said the bench, which a day earlier took suo motu cognizance of the acute shortage of water.
 
The bench was categorically clear in saying except under extreme emergency situations, no water through tankers shall be supplied to any individual, more so in a VIP area, be it the judges, ministers, MLAs, bureaucrats, police officers and commercial establishments.
 
However, this order would not include the residences and offices of the Governor and the Chief Minister, it added.
 
Listing the case for next hearing on Wednesday, the bench, also comprising Justice Ajay Mohan Goel, directed the Muncipal Commissioner to personally remain present in the court and file the compliance report.
 
During the hearing, the court was informed that Chief Secretary Vineet Chawdhry was monitoring the situation on an hourly basis.
 
"As on date, approximately 18.5 million litres per day (MLD) of water is being received from all sources," said the government, adding measures for plugging the leakage of approximately 3.5 MLD water have been already taken.
 
Shimla's normal demand of water is 42 to 45 MLD, civic body officials told IANS.
 
They blame leaks in the distribution network, a significant portion of which came up in the British days, and diminishing water resources due to over-exploitation.
 
ADVERTISEMENT
While Shimla residents are grappling with water woes -- not exactly for the first time -- Mayor Kusum Sadrate of the Bharatiya Janata Party, which is helming the Municipal Corporation for the first time in three decades since June 2017, is away in China on an official tour.
 
Meanwhile, a scuffle was ensured when protesting Communist Party of India-Marxist activists were stopped by police from entering the office of the Municipal Corporation here.
 
They were raising slogans against the civic body and were demanding to meet the Deputy Mayor to lodge their protest over water shortage.
 
Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur, who is also monitoring the situation, said 35 additional water takers have been deployed to supply water to those areas facing acute shortage.
 
"We are arranging transportation of water from nearby Solan and Bilaspur districts," he told reporters.
 
Even tourists are feeling the pinch.
 
"I reached my hotel this morning from Delhi and found that there was no water in the toilet. I was charged Rs 200 for a bucket of water," tourist Harpreet Ahuja told IANS, adding he cancelled his hotel booking and will be returning home.
 
Another tourist Vinod Yadav, who reached Shimla from Kalka in a toy train, said toilets in the train were stinking as there was no water.
 
He said even the toilets at the Shimla railway station were locked due to water shortage.
 
IANS
 
Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

14 killed in two road accidents in Himachal Pradesh

 
14 die in two road accidents in Himachal Pradesh
 
 
Fourteen people were killed and 15 injured in two separate road accidents in Himachal Pradesh's Shimla and Sirmaur districts on Sunday.
 
Eight people were killed and 15 injured when a bus skidded off the road and rolled down the hill in Sirmaur district.
 
The bus was on its way from Manva to Solan town when the accident occurred near the Nai Neti panchayat, around 25 km from Rajgarh town.
 
Most of the injured were admitted to the Regional Hospital in Solan.
 
Sirmaur Deputy Commissioner Lalit Jain told IANS the rescue operation was over. Most of the victims were from Rajgarh area. He said the cause of the accident was yet to be ascertained.
 
In another accident, all six occupants of a car were killed on the spot when it fell into a 300-foot deep gorge near Chhaila on the Theog-Hatkoti road, 42 km from Shimla.
 
Witnesses told police that the car driver probably lost control over the vehicle when it was descending a steep gradient.
 
The administration had a tough time extricating the victims of both the accidents from the badly mangled vehicles.
 
People in the area began rescue operations even before authorities reached the spot.
 
IANS
 
Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

Kasauli: Second firing victim succumbs to injuries

ADVERTISEMENT
Another victim of firing purportedly by a guest house owner during a demolition drive in the tourist resort Kasauli in Himachal Pradesh succumbed to his injuries on Sunday after battling for life for 12 days, police said.
 
Earlier, Assistant Town Planner Shaila Bala Sharma, 51, was shot dead by Narayani Guest House owner Vijay Singh during the demolition drive in Solan district.
 
Public Works Department employee Gulab Singh got bullet injuries when Vijay Singh fired at employees deployed to raze illegal constructions in the area on May 1.
 
He was referred to the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research in Chandigarh where he died.
 
The accused was arrested from Mathura in Uttar Pradesh two days after the crime. He is on police remand.
 
Vijay Singh fired at officials when they insisted on executing the apex court order to demolish illegal constructions at his guest house.
 
The apex court, which ordered the demolition of illegal constructions in 13 hotels and resorts in Kasauli area, took suo motu cognizance of the firing incident.
 
On May 9, the court asked the state government to provide it the names and designations of officers who were posted in Kasauli when unauthorized constructions were carried out.
 
A bench of Justice Madan Lokur and Justice Deepak Gupta also sought a report from the state on specific steps taken to ensure that no uauthorized construction was being carried out in other parts of the state.
 
During the hearing, the bench told the Advocate General of Himachal Pradesh: "Unless you take action and remove four-five people from service, nothing will fall in line."
 
IANS
Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

Himachal may get more thundershowers next week

ADVERTISEMENT
Himachal Pradesh may get more thundershowers next week as the weather bureau here on Friday predicted that western disturbances will be active once again in the region.
 
"Light to moderate rain and thundershowers are likely to occur at some places in the state between May 14 and 15 with the western disturbances affecting the Western Himalayas," Manmohan Singh, the meteorological department director, told IANS.
 
Western disturbances are a storm system originating from the Mediterranean Sea and moving across the Afghanistan-Pakistan region.
 
Tourist towns of Shimla, Narkanda, Kufri, Kalpa, Kasauli, Chamba, Dharamsala, Palampur and Manali might get rains in the next few days.
 
"High-altitude areas of Lahaul and Spiti, Chamba, Kullu and Kinnaur districts may experience moderate snow," a Met official said.
 
There has been no rain or snowfall across the state in the past 24 hours since Thursday.
 
Shimla recorded a low of 15.5 degrees Celsius, a rise from Thursday's 12.5 degrees, while it was 3.3 degrees in Keylong, 7.6 degrees in Kalpa, 14.8 degrees in Dharamsala and 15.5 degrees in Dalhousie.
 
A day earlier, the state capital here saw a high of 23.5 degrees Celsius.
 
IANS
 
Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

Adverse weather: Himachal advises against travelling to higher reaches

ADVERTISEMENT
The Himachal Pradesh government on Tuesday advised locals and tourists not to travel towards the higher reaches as moderate snowfall and rains continued across the state.
 
An advisory was issued to avoid travelling to the high hills of Kullu, Sirmaur, Chamba, Lahaul and Spiti and Kinnaur districts as chances of snow and rain are high over the next 24 hours, a government spokesperson told IANS here on Tuesday morning.
 
Kullu Deputy Commissioner Yunus Khan told IANS that tourists and locals bound for the Rohtang Pass, some 52 km from Manali, were not allowed to go beyond Marhi, due to continuous snowfall that has resulted in snapping of road links leading to the pass.
 
"Even the locals have been advised not to go close to the rivers and water channels and check weather conditions before travelling towards the Jalori Pass also," he said, adding "schools were closed for a day (Tuesday)".
 
Officials said state transport buses in Lahaul Valley in Lahaul-Spiti district have been temporarily suspended.
 
According to the Met Office in Shimla, heavy rainfall accompanied by thunderstorms and strong winds are likely at some places in the state till Thursday.
 
Kalpa in Kinnaur district received 27 mm rain till Tuesday morning, while Keylong in Lahaul-Spiti district saw 5 cm of snow.
 
However, Shimla experienced only 3.7 mm, while Manali, Dharamsala and Dalhousie towns received 18.6 mm, 8.2 mm and 13 mm of rain, respectively.
 
Shimla recorded a minimum of 9.8 degrees Celsius, while it was 2.4 degrees in Kalpa, 13.8 degrees in Dharamsala, 5.4 degrees in Manali and 7.8 degrees in Dalhousie.
 
IANS
Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

Demolitions on in Kasauli, murder accused held, top police official shifted

ADVERTISEMENT
Even as illegal constructions in hotels and resorts in Himachal Pradesh's Kasauli area continued to be razed on Thursday, a hotelier accused of fatally shooting a woman officer two days ago was arrested from Uttar Pradesh, officials said.
 
Head also started rolling with the state government late in the evening transferring the district's top police official.
 
On May 1, Assistant Town Planner Shaila Bala Sharma was shot dead by Narayani Guest House owner Vijay Singh during the Supreme Court-ordered demolition drive.
 
In a joint operation, a state police team, which was coordinating with Delhi Police, arrested him from Mathura town.
 
Police officials said the accused, who was not using his mobile phone since the murder, had shaved off his moustache to conceal his identity. He is being brought to Kasauli.
 
Expressing anguish over the delay in the arrest of the accused, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur earlier told reporters in New Delhi: "I am in regular touch with top police officials. As per my information, he's likely to be arrested today (Thursday) or tomorrow (Friday)."
 
Police officials said Vijay Singh shot dead the official when she insisted on executing the apex court order to demolish illegal constructions at his guest house.
 
After the crime, Vijay Singh, a Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board employee who was on leave for three weeks, disappeared into a nearby forest.
 
Admitting negligence in the matter, Deputy Commissioner Vinod Kumar said: "It was our responsibility to carry out the demolitions. It was a lapse on part of the district administration. We had asked the demolition teams to exercise restraint."
 
But the demolitions would continue, he added.
 
On Thursday, the Supreme Court ordered the Himachal government to file an affidavit by May 9, the next date of hearing, detailing the progress in the murder probe.
 
A bench headed by Justice Madan B. Lokur said the affidavit should contain details of action taken to demolish illegal constructions and steps to prevent unauthorised constructions in future.
 
ADVERTISEMENT
Taking suo motu cognisance of the official's killing, the Supreme Court a day earlier pulled up the state authorities for failure to ensure the safety of officers implementing its orders.
 
The apex court on April 17 ordered the demolition of illegal constructions, saying the life of people cannot be endangered for making money.
 
The Congress blamed the Bharatiya Janata Party government for what it said was "deteriorating law and order" in the hill state.
 
"Even two days after the crime, the state has failed to fix responsibility on officials responsible for the lapses that led to the death of a government employee," Congress leader Mukesh Agnihotri told IANS.
 
After rap from the apex court over negligence in handling of the demolitions, the government transferred Solan Superintendent of Police Mohit Chawla and his deputy Ramesh Sharma to police headquarters.
 
Additional Superintendent Shiv Kumar was given the additional charge of the Superintendent of Police, while Ajay Rana is the new Deputy Superintendent of Police.
 
The government also decided to confer Himachal Gaurav Purskar on the Assistant Town Planner.
 
A government spokesman said a decision in this regard was taken at a high-level meeting held here to review the law and order situation.
 
He said the government also decided to give an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh to her family who would be entitled for salary for her remaining service period.
 
IANS
Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

27 schoolchildren among 30 killed in bus mishap in Himachal Pradesh

Thirty people, including 27 students, were killed on Monday when a private school bus fell into a gorge in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh, police said.

Locals rescuing students stuck inside a school bus that fell into a gorge near Malkwal area of Nurpur in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh, on April 9, 2018. (Photo: IANS)
Locals rescuing students stuck inside a school bus that fell into a gorge near Malkwal area of Nurpur in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh, on April 9, 2018. (Photo: IANS)
Thirty people, including 27 students, were killed on Monday when a private school bus fell into a gorge in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh, police said.
 
Superintendent of Police Santosh Patyal said all the killed students were in the age of 10 to 12, while the bus driver and two women teachers were among the victims.
 
Local villagers had begun rescue operation even before officials could reach the spot, eyewitnesses said.
 
Around 45 students of Wazir Ram Singh Pathania Memorial Public School were returning home when the bus skidded off road and fell into the 100-feet deep gorge near Gurchal village on the Nurpur-Chamba road, some 300 km from the state capital.
 
Teams of local administration and the National Disaster Response Force were involved in the rescue and faced tough time in pulling out the victims from the mangled bus.
 
Thirteen of the injured were referred to hospitals in Pathankot in Punjab. One of them died in a hospital, while 12 students were admitted with critical injuries.
 
The rescue operation was almost over, said an official.
 
"Prima facie, negligent driving and over-speeding are the main reasons for the accident," he added.
 
Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur, Governor Acharya Devvrat and Union Health Minister J.P. Nadda condoled the deaths.
 
A magisterial inquiry has been ordered.
 
The government has announced an ex-gratia of Rs 500,000 to the next of kin of each of those killed and free treatment to those injured.
 
Food and Civil Supplies Minister Kishan Kapoor along with local legislator Rakesh Pathania and Deputy Commissioner Sandeep Kumar reached the spot to supervise rescue and relief operation.
 
IANS
 
Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

BJP's Jai Ram Thakur sworn in as new Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh

 
Jai Ram Thakur takes oath as 14th CM of Himachal Pradesh
Five-time legislator Jai Ram Thakur of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was sworn in as the new Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh at the head of a 12-member Council of Ministers.
 
Mr. Thakur, 52, and the 11 other Ministers were administered the oaths of office and secrecy by Governor Acharya Devvrat at a ceremony at the historic Ridge Ground here.
 
The Ministers who were sworn in are Suresh Bhardwaj, Anil Sharma, Govind Thakur, Mahender Singh, Sarveen Chaudhary, Ram Lal Markandaye, Vipin Parmar, Rajeev Saijal, Bikram Thakur, Kishan Kapoor and Virender Kanwar.
 
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP President Amit Shah, Union Ministers and Chief Ministers of several BJP-ruled States were present on the occasion.
 
Mr. Thakur's family, including his 80-year-old mother, and hundreds of BJP workers and others were also present.
 
Mr. Thakur has become the 14th Chief Minister of the State, though only the sixth person to hold the position because some of the previous Chief Ministers have served multiple terms.
 
He has succeeded Mr. Virbhadra Singh, 83, a veteran Congress leader, who has had five terms as Chief Minister. The BJP had named two-time Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal, 73, as its chief ministerial candidate, but he ended up losing the elections, in which polling was held on November 9 and votes were counted on December 18.
 
ADVERTISEMENT
Power has alternated between the Congress and the BJP in Himachal Pradesh in recent decades. In the elections this time, the BJP wrested power from the Congress by winning 44 seats in the 68-member State Legislative Assembly. The Congress ended up with just 21 seats, while the Communist Party of India (Marxist) got one and two seats went to independent candidates.
 
Mr. Thakur was elected as the leader of the BJP Legislature Party here at a meeting of the party's newly elected legislators on December 24.
 
Born on January 6, 1965, Mr. Thakur has an M. A. from Punjab University. He has been a member of the state legislative assembly since 1998 and had served as Minister of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj in the Prem Kumar Dhumal government during 2007-12.
 
He was active in the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the student wing of the BJP, during the 1980s and became the president of the State BJP Yuva Morcha during 1993-95. He was president of the state BJP during 2006-09.
 
NNN
 
Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 
Syndicate content
© Copyright 2012 NetIndian. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of NetIndian content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of NetIndian Media Corporation. Write to info[AT]netindian[DOT]in for permission to use content. Read detailed Terms of Use.