ADVERTISEMENT

Shimla

Monsoon subdued in Himachal, traffic restored

ADVERTISEMENT
After three days of heavy showers which led to snapping of several road links following landslides, the hills of Himachal Pradesh on Tuesday saw subdued rainfall activity, the Met office here said.
 
Most of the rivers that were in spate saw a decline in water levels. Traffic on a majority of the highways and link roads was restored.
 
"There was no heavy rainfall in the state but precipitation occurred at some places in the state since Monday," a Met official told IANS.
 
He said the weather conditions would likely to be mostly dry in the state, adding that light rainfall might occur at some places.
 
Shimla got 32.3 mm of rain, while Manali received 16 mm, Dalhousie 9 mm and Una 5.2 mm.
 
A total of 22 people died and two were reported missing in the state in rain-related incidents in the past three days.
 
There was an estimated loss of Rs 20 crore to both public and private property in the state. Till date, the overall loss was Rs 574 crore.
 
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.
 
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
 

18 killed in highest-ever rainfall in Himachal Pradesh

A view of Beas river in spate after incessant rains, near Kullu in Himachal Pradesh on August 17, 2019. (Photo: IANS)
A view of Beas river in spate after incessant rains, near Kullu in Himachal Pradesh on August 17, 2019. (Photo: IANS)
Eighteen people, including three children, were killed on Sunday due to heavy rainfall-related incidents across Himachal Pradesh, officials said.
 
The India Meteorological Department in Shimla said Sunday's showers were the highest rainfall recorded by the state in 24 hours, over the past 70 years.
 
Hundreds remained stranded after incessant rainfall triggered landslides, snapped road links, led to shutting down of hydropower projects and release of excess water from a dam, an official said.
 
Traffic on the Chandigarh-Manali Highway was blocked between Mandi and Kullu towns following massive landslides along the swollen Beas river. The Mandi-Jogindernagar Highway was also closed for traffic.
 
Traffic was hampered on 68 roads across the state and the maximum 47 blockades were in Chamba district, a government spokesperson told IANS here. 
 
A bailey bridge near Kullu town was washed away due to flash floods. As a precaution, excess water was released from 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 man, 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 Beas river in Mandi district. It diverts excess monsoon water towards Pong dam. Otherwise, it diverts water towards Satluj river, which feeds the Gobind Sagar reservoir of the Bhakra dam.
 
Though the inflow of water into state's Pong and Bhakra dam increased dramatically due to heavy rainfall, authorities said there was no need for worry as the reservoirs have surplus capacity.
 
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, Kullu and Chamba districts in the past 24 hours, an official of the Meteorological office here said.
 
The state as a whole received 102.5 mm and this was 1,065 per cent more than normal for a day, the IMD said. 
 
All districts received excesses rainfall. The highest rainfall 252 mm was recorded in Bilaspur district, which is 2,586 per cent more than normal, it added.
 
There were reports of link road closure in the interiors of Shimla, Sirmaur, Mandi, Kangra and Kullu districts, hampering movement of traffic.
 
The spokesperson said 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.
 
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
 

Hundreds stranded in Himachal after heavy rains

ADVERTISEMENT
Hundreds remained stranded in Himachal Pradesh after incessant rainfall triggered landslides, snapped road links, closing of hydropower projects and release of 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 bailey bridge near Kullu town was washed away due to a flash flood.
 
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 after a landslide in Lona 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 the Pong and Bhakra dams increased dramatically due to heavy rainfall, but the authorities said there was no need for worry as the reservoirs still have surplus capacity to hold 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.
 
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
 

12 persons -- 11 soldiers, 1 civilian -- dead in Himachal building collapse

Rescue operations underway at the site where a roadside three-storey eatery caved in owing to heavy rains at Kumarhatti in Himachal Pradesh's Solan district on July 14, 2019. (Photo: IANS)
Rescue operations underway at the site where a roadside three-storey eatery caved in owing to heavy rains at Kumarhatti in Himachal Pradesh's Solan district on July 14, 2019. (Photo: IANS)
Twelve people -- 11 soldiers and a civilian -- were killed and 28 others were rescued after a four-storeyed building in Himachal Pradesh's Kumarhatti town, where Assam Rifles troopers were holding a party, collapsed due to rain, rescuers said on Monday.
 
Deputy Commissioner K. C. Chaman said one soldier is still trapped in the debris and a rescue operation by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), the Army and the state police was on to save him.
 
The 28 people who were rescued comprised 17 soldiers and 11 civilians. The dead also included the building owner's wife.
 
Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur along with his Cabinet Minister Rajiv Saizal, MP Suresh Kashyap and state Assembly Speaker Rajiv Bindal have visited the spot, where they met the rescued people.
 
Thakur, who has ordered a magisterial probe into the incident, said as per his information the structure was not raised as per building specifications.
 
He ordered the registration of an FIR against the building owner Shail Kumar, who was away when the structure collapsed.
 
According to officials, the incident occurred at around 4 p.m. on Sunday when soldiers, belonging to the Assam Rifles of nearby Dagshai Cantonment, were having their party at the roadside eatery-cum-residential complex which caved in due to heavy rain.
 
Both soldiers and civilians were present in the building, located on the Kumarhatti-Nahan road, around 55 km from Shimla.
 
The Deputy Commissioner said first the fourth floor of the building collapsed. Then the entire building caved in.
 
Locals blamed unscientific construction methods and violations in the granting of construction-sanction for the building collapse.
 
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
 

Seven people -- 6 soldiers, 1 civilian -- killed in Himachal building collapse

Rescue operations underway at the site where a roadside three-storey eatery caved in owing to heavy rains at Kumarhatti in Himachal Pradesh's Solan district on July 14, 2019. (Photo: IANS)
Rescue operations underway at the site where a roadside three-storey eatery caved in owing to heavy rains at Kumarhatti in Himachal Pradesh's Solan district on July 14, 2019. (Photo: IANS)
Seven people -- six soldiers and a civilian -- were killed and 35 rescued after a four-storeyed building collapsed due to rain at Kumarhatti town of Himachal Pradesh, rescuers said on Monday.
 
It is believed that six to eight people are still trapped in the debris.
 
As many as 23 soldiers and 12 civilians were pulled out from the rubble in the rescue operation by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), the Army and the state police that has been on for more than 16 hours.
 
The dead included the building owner's wife Archana.
 
According to officials, the incident occurred on Sunday when soldiers belonging to the Assam Rifles of nearby Dagshai Cantonment were having their party at a roadside eatery-cum-residential complex which caved in due to heavy rain.
 
Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur, who is monitoring the operation from here, said soldiers and civilians were present in the building, located on the Kumarhatti-Nahan road, around 55 kms from Shimla.
 
Thakur, who has ordered a probe into the incident, is visiting the spot later in the day.
 
Deputy Commissioner K. C. Chaman said measures to rescue people trapped in the debris were on. The injured have been admitted to nearby hospitals.
 
Locals blamed unscientific construction methods and violations in the granting of construction-sanction for the building collapse. 
 
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
 

2 dead, 12 soldiers trapped in Himachal house collapse

Rescue operations underway at the site where a roadside three-storey eatery caved in owing to heavy rains at Kumarhatti in Himachal Pradesh's Solan district on July 14, 2019. (Photo: IANS)
Rescue operations underway at the site where a roadside three-storey eatery caved in owing to heavy rains at Kumarhatti in Himachal Pradesh's Solan district on July 14, 2019. (Photo: IANS)
One soldier and a civilian were killed and 12 other soldiers got trapped when a four-storey building collapsed due to rain at Kumarhatti town of Himachal Pradesh on Sunday.
 
While 18 soldiers and five civilians were pulled out from the debris, the rescue operations by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), the Army and the state police are on.
 
According to officials, the incident occurred when soldiers, belonging to the nearby Dagshai cantonment, were having meal at a roadside eatery-cum-residential complex, which caved in due to heavy rain.
 
Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said 30 soldiers and seven civilians were present in the building, located on the Kumarhatti-Nahan road, around 55 km from Shimla.
 
Deputy Commissioner K. C. Chaman said measures to rescue people trapped in the debris were on. The injured have been admitted to nearby hospitals.
 
Continuing rain was hampering the rescue operation, he 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
 

Massive mudslides block Chandigarh-Shimla highway

ADVERTISEMENT
Massive mudslides hit the Chandigarh-Shimla national highway between Parwanoo and Solan towns in Himachal Pradesh on Saturday owing to heavy overnight rains, that led to traffic snarls and posed a serious threat to motorists.
 
The movement of traffic was hampered almost throughout the day due to massive landslides along the highway in Solan district.
 
Motorists said the maximum landslips were on a 30-km stretch between Parwanoo and Kumarhatti, where over 20 km was either damaged or piled with boulders and muck.
 
They said the falling debris threatens their safety while travelling through this stretch that has been excavated recently for highway widening.
 
The executing agency - National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) - for the project which aims to cut the travel time between Chandigarh and Himachal capital Shimla by shortening the distance by 17 kms -- cleared the road of boulders and mud.
 
The entire stretch from Parwanoo to Solan has become a permanent landslide zone particularly Chakki ka Mor. The risk of driving is aggravated after dusk, said motorist Deepak Nayyar.
 
He said there were frequent incidents of landslips and falling rocks hitting moving vehicles owing to fragile and loose strata with vertical cutting of the hills for the expansion of the highway.
 
Geologists blame unscientific cutting of precipitous hills, largely of shell, sandstone and clay, for the frequent landslips.
 
"Most of these mountain slopes are of sedimentary formation and have become destabilised with the reckless cutting by heavy earth-moving machinery. The loose and naked boulders with muck will continue to roll down on the highway for eight to 10 years more," former state geologist Arun Sharma told IANS.
 
"On the Parwanoo to Solan stretch, most of the hill cutting was done largely vertically than horizontally. At some points, large-scale vertical cutting was carried out," added Sharma, a member of the Environment Ministry's State Expert Appraisal Committee to assess projects.
 
Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari informed the Rajya Sabha on July 8 that the work on four-laning of the stretch between Parwanoo and Solan would be completed within the next six to eight months as the bottlenecks have been removed.
 
He said the project was being undertaken at a cost of Rs 750 crore and almost 75 per cent of the work has been completed.
 
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
 

Seven school kids injured in Shimla accident

ADVERTISEMENT
At least seven school children were injured when an overcrowded private school bus rolled down a hill in the Himachal Pradesh capital on Monday, police said.
 
The injured were admitted to the Indira Gandhi Medical College and Hospital here.
 
The students, belonging to Convent of Jesus and Mary Chelsea, were travelling in Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) bus. The accident occurred in Lower Khalini.
 
Witnesses told the police that lack of steel barrier and narrow road were mainly responsible for the accident.
 
Local legislator and Education Minister Suresh Bhardwaj who reached the accident spot, faced protest from locals, who were blaming the government's callousness towards safety of the passengers.
 
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
 

Toll in Himachal accident rises to 44

The death toll due to a road accident in Himachal Pradesh's Kullu district has increased to 44, officials said on Friday.
 
A total of 73 passengers were onboard when an overloaded private mini-bus skidded off the road and fell into a deep gorge near Banjar, some 50 km from Kullu town, on Thursday. Passengers were also sitting on its rooftop.
 
Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur is rushing to the spot
 
Transport Minister Govind Thakur, who was supervising the rescue and relief operation, told IANS over phone that 29 people were injured in the accident. He said some of the passengers succumbed to injuries early Friday.
 
Superintendent of Police Shalini Agnihotri said the private bus was on its way to Gada Gushaini from Kullu when the accident occurred.
 
Most of the injured have been admitted to hospitals in Kullu and Mandi, she added. The injured included school and college students from Banjar who were returning home.
 
A witness said rescuers had a tough time in extricating the victims from the vehicle and the gorge.
 
Governor Acharya Devvrat and Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur expressed grief over the incident.
 
The spot of the accident, about 250 km from the state capital, is one of the remotest places in the state.
 
Scarcity of buses and poor frequency of government-run buses in this remote district are blamed for overloading of public transport vehicles.
 
The Kullu district administration has provided Rs 50,000 as immediate relief to the next-of-kin of the deceased and injured persons. A magisterial probe has been ordered.
 
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
 

30 killed as bus falls into gorge in Himachal

At least 30 people were killed and 40 others injured when an overloaded private mini-bus skidded off the road and fell into a deep gorge in Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh on Thursday, police said. 
 
The accident occurred near Banjar, some 50 km from Kullu town. Most of the passengers travelling in the bus were from Kullu and Mandi districts. Passengers were also sitting on its rooftop.
 
Superintendent of Police Shalini Agnihotri said the private bus was on its way to Gada Gushaini from Kullu when the accident occurred.
 
Most of the injured have been admitted to hospitals in Kullu and Mandi, she added. The injured included school and college students from Banjar and were returning home.
 
Eyewitnesses said the bus was overcrowded and the driver probably lost control over the vehicle while negotiating a turn.
 
Eyewitness Ramesh Thakur said rescuers had a tough time in extracting the victims from the vehicle and the gorge.
 
Governor Acharya Devvrat and Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur expressed grief over the incident.
 
The spot of the accident, about 250 km from the state capital, is one of the remotest places in the state.
 
Scarcity of buses and poor frequency of government-run buses in this remote district are blamed for overloading of public transport vehicles.
 
The Kullu district administration has provided Rs 50,000 as immediate relief to the next of kin of the deceased and injured persons. A magisterial probe has been ordered.
 
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
 

25 killed as bus falls into gorge in Himachal

ADVERTISEMENT
At least 25 people were killed and 35 others injured when a bus skidded off the road and fell into a 300-m-deep gorge in Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh on Thursday, police said.
 
The accident occurred near Banjar, some 50 km from Kullu town.
 
Superintendent of Police Shalini Agnihotri said the private bus was on its way to Gada Gushaini from Kullu when the accident occurred.
 
The injured have been admitted to hospitals in Kullu, she 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
 

BJP retains all four Himachal LS seats

ADVERTISEMENT
The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Himachal Pradesh on Thursday retained all the four Lok Sabha seats in the state as its candidates won by record margins, election officials said.
 
Hamirpur sitting MP Anurag Thakur, Kangra candidate Kishan Kapoor, Shimla candidate Suresh Kashyap and Mandi sitting MP Ram Swaroop Sharma won their seats by defeating their nearest Congress rivals.
 
The main contest was between the Congress and the BJP.
 
Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur thanked all the voters for the landslide victory of the party.
 
He told reporters here that the victory confirms that people have expressed faith and confidence in the programmes and policies of his government.
 
For former BCCI chief Anurag Thakur, this was the fourth consecutive victory. He won by over 3.81 lakh votes against Congress legislator Ram Lal Thakur.
 
From Kangra, the largest Lok Sabha constituency in the state in terms of voters, the BJP had fielded Cabinet Minister Kishan Kapoor, 68, after dropping veteran leader Shanta Kumar, against two-time Congress legislator Pawan Kajal, 44.
 
Kapoor defeated Kajal by a margin of more than 4.47 lakh votes.
 
In the Shimla (reserved) seat, it was an ex-serviceman versus an ex-serviceman.
 
Colonel Dhani Ram Shandil (retired), 78, who was the Congress candidate, lost by over 3.23 lakh votes to BJP nominee and former Indian Air Force (IAF) officer Suresh Kashyap, 48.
 
Sitting BJP MP and the Chief Minister's confidant Ram Swaroop Sharma won the seat for a second term from Mandi. He was contesting against Congress greenhorn Ashray Sharma, who is the grandson of former Telecom Minister Sukh Ram.
 
Ram Swaroop Sharma retained the seat by a margin of more than 3.63 lakh votes.
 
Sukh Ram, a Congress veteran, had joined the BJP just before the Assembly elections, but defected back after his grandson was denied a ticket.
 
Counting of 38 lakh votes for the Shimla, Mandi, Hamirpur and Kangra parliamentary seats began at 8 a.m. amid tight security.
 
A total of 38,01,793 voters -- 72.25 per cent of 52,62,126 eligible ones -- exercised their franchise on May 19 in a single phase to select their representatives to the 17th Lok Sabha.
 
Forty-five candidates, including a lone woman, were in the fray from the four seats.
 
With the electorate in the Lok Sabha polls traditionally favouring the party at the helm in the state, these elections were being seen as a referendum on the state's 17-month-old Jai Ram Thakur government.
 
The BJP wrested the state from the Congress in December 2017, winning 44 seats in the 68-member Assembly. The Congress won 21 seats, Independents two and the Communist Party of India-Marxist won one.
 
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
 

Fire breaks out in Shimla's British-era Grand Hotel

A view of the British-era Grand Hotel, where a fire broke out on Monday, reducing a portion to ashes, in Shimla, on May 13, 2019. (Photo: IANS)
A view of the British-era Grand Hotel, where a fire broke out on Monday, reducing a portion to ashes, in Shimla, on May 13, 2019. (Photo: IANS)
A massive fire broke out on Monday at the British-era Grand Hotel here, reducing a portion to ashes. However, no casualties were reported, police said.
 
The hotel's newly-renovated Mayo Block was completely destroyed in the fire. Since the building was under renovation, there was no guest at the time of the incident.
 
Shimla Deputy Commissioner Rajeshwar Goel told IANS that nearby buildings were safe and the fire was brought under control.
 
The cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained.
 
The building, located in the vicinity of famous Kali Bari temple, close to Scandal Point, was constructed in British times.
 
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
 

Five killed in road accident in Mandi district of Himachal Pradesh

ADVERTISEMENT
Five people were killed on Sunday when a car in which they were travelling skidded off the road and plunged into a 300-metre-deep gorge in Himachal Pradesh's Mandi district, police said.
 
The accident occurred near Janjehli while the victims were en route to attend Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur's election meeting in his home constituency of Seraj.
 
Witnesses told the police that the driver, who was injured, probably lost control over the vehicle. 
 
It took hours for rescuers to climb down the mountain and bring up the bodies.
 
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
 

10 killed in Himachal Pradesh as falls into gorge

ADVERTISEMENT
At least 10 passengers were killed and several injured when a private bus skidded off the road and fell into a gorge in Himachal Pradesh's Chamba district on Saturday evening, police said.
 
The bus was on its way from Pathankot in Punjab to Dalhousie in the hill state.
 
The accident occurred in the Nainikhad area near Banikhet in Dalhousie subdivision, Chamba Superintendent of Police Monica Bhutunguru told reporters in Chamba city, some 350 km from the state headquarters.
 
Most of the injured were admitted to Chamba's Regional Hospital.
 
The driver probably lost control over the vehicle at a hairpin bend and fell into the gorge, an eyewitness told the police.
 
The administration had a tough time in extracting the victims from the bus, though villagers had started the rescue operation before the authorities reached the spot.
 
Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur has expressed grief over the accident.
 
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 BJP chief booked over 'slur' against Rahul

ADVERTISEMENT
A criminal case was registered on Tuesday against Himachal Pradesh BJP chief Satpal Singh Satti for using a slur against Congress President Rahul Gandhi while campaigning, police said.
 
Also, Chief Electoral Officer Devesh Kumar issued a notice to him seeking his reply within 24 hours.
 
The development comes after the opposition Congress approached the Election Commission with a complaint.
 
Satti targeted Gandhi and his family at a public meeting in Nalagrah's Ramashehar town in Solan district on April 13.
 
His remarks came while replying to Gandhi's "chowkidar chor hai" taunt apparently aimed at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying Rahul and the entire Gandhi family are "thieves".
 
He added that Gandhi family members like Sonia Gandhi and Robert Vadra are out on bail, and so Rahul "is not in a position to comment."
 
State Congress leader and Leader of Opposition Mukesh Agnihotri told IANS that the party was demanding a ban on Satti's campaigning during the entire elections.
 
Satti has been booked under Section 294 of the Indian Penal Code. The case pertains to obscene acts and songs.
 
The Congress on Tuesday held statewide protests over the "obscene slur".
 
Defending him, state BJP General Secretary Randhir Sharma said: "Satti's video, which was in circulation in the social media, was a doctored one and the Congress was trying to take electoral mileage out of it.
 
Himachal Pradesh will go to the polls 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
 

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
 
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.