Relentless rain continued to pound most parts of Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh for the third consecutive day on July 10, putting life out of gear.
The rain across the northern parts of the country has led to landslips and flash floods in the region.
Seventeen people died in Himachal Pradesh in rain-related incidents in the past three days, while six deaths were reported in Haryana and two in Punjab.
Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu said roads, transformers, electric sub-stations and water supply schemes suffered extensive damage in the State. “As per an initial estimate, the loss could in the range of ₹3,000 crore-₹4,000 crore,” he said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Mr. Sukhu over telephone and inquired about the extent of damage caused to life and property.
The Prime Minister also called Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami to inquire about thesituation in the State.
Mr. Sukhu said efforts were under way to evacuate around 300 people, including tourists and residents, stranded in Lahaul-Spiti and Kullu districts by using helicopters once the weather permitted.
He said the ‘Shrikhand Mahadev Yatra’ had been halted for the rest of the season due to six deaths reported during the pilgrimage.
Rescue operations on
In Mandi district’s Nagwain, six people who were stranded were safely evacuated on Sunday night, while 29 people trapped in Manali’s potato ground were rescued around 8 a.m. The Mandi administration got 113 houses evacuated in the wake of a flood-like situation in the Beas.
About 200 tourists are stranded near Chandertal Lake in Lahaul and Spiti district, and efforts are under way to rescue them. An operation has been launched to trace eight missing local people at Lohardi in the Baijnath area of Kangra district.
Heavy rain that triggered landslips has left hundreds stranded as several roads, including National Highways, have been damaged, adversely impacting vehicular movement in Himachal Pradesh.
The incessant rain has left Sutlej, Ravi and Beas rivers, flowing through Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana, in spate.
In Haryana, Yamuna and Ghaggar are flowing close to the danger mark. Flood-like conditions and water logging have been reported following continuous rain in several places in Punjab including Sahibzada Ajit Singh Nagar (Mohali), Anandpur Sahib, Pathankot, Roopnagar, Nawanshahr and Fathegarh Sahib districts. Several roads, railway tracks, and farmland have been inundated following rains.
People have been complaining of no power and water supply in many parts of the flood-affected areas.
Punjab, Haryana seek Army’s help
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar convened a meeting of senior officials to review the situation. The water levels of Yamuna and Ghaggar and other small rivers have been increasing, reaching close to the danger mark. Landslips have been reported from some areas on the Pehowa-Ambala road. A bridge in the Mandawala, located about 5 km from Baddi, has collapsed. In the last three days, 493 mm of rain has been received in Ambala district, due to which the water level in the rivers has drastically increased. The level of the Ghaggar has gone up to 21,000 cusecs from the usual 16,500 cusecs. Similarly, the level of the Tangri has reached 21,000 cusecs from its usual 13,000 cusecs. In Yamunanagar district, in view of the increasing water level of the Yamuna, evacuation has been initiated in the areas.
Authorities have already ordered the closure of schools in some affected areas in Punjab and Haryana.
Red alert in Himachal
The meteorological department issued a red alert for “extremely heavy” rain in the State on Monday.
Officials said rail operations on the Shimla-Kalka route, a UNESCO world heritage site, have been suspended till Tuesday as landslips blocked the track at several places while educational institutions across the State were ordered to remain shut on Monday and Tuesday.
Since June 24, following the onset of the monsoon, incessant rain has created havoc in several parts of Himachal Pradesh, resulting in the loss of human and cattle lives, besides damaging several roads, vehicles, and residential and commercial buildings. Himachal Pradesh has so far witnessed a loss of 72 human lives owing to rain-related incidents.
Punjab, Delhi, Uttarakhand flooded
Streets across the northern States, including Punjab, Delhi and Uttarakhand, were flooded. In some areas, rescue personnel used rubber rafts to rescue people stranded inside their homes, local media said. “Please stay inside your homes because more heavy rain is expected in the next 24 hours,” Mr. Sukhu said in an appeal on social media late on Sunday. Schools in New Delhi were closed after heavy rains lashed the national capital over the weekend, and authorities in Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand asked people not to venture out of their homes unless necessary.
Many districts in Himachal Pradesh received a month’s rainfall in a day at the weekend, said a senior weather department official. Delhi, Punjab, and Himachal Pradesh have received 112%, 100% and 70% more rainfall than average so far in the current monsoon season that started on June 1, according to the department.
‘Severe waterlogging’ in Ajmer
Continuous and heavy rainfall have led to extensive waterlogging in several parts of Rajasthan’s Ajmer, the officials said on July 10. “Severe waterlogging witnessed in various parts of Ajmer, following heavy rainfall in the region,” they said.
Heavy rainfall on July 9 morning also led to extensive waterlogging in Rajasthan’s Sikar, disrupting normal life. Amid heavy rainfall on July 8 evening, a student died after he fell into an open sewerage tank near Nawalgarh Road in the Sikar district, an official from the Civil Defence Team (CD) said.
After receiving word of the incident, a Civil Defence Rescue team reached the spot and recovered the student’s body, he said. Congress State president Govind Singh Dotasra, BJP MP Swami Sumedhanand and former MLA Amra Ram also visited the spot after learning of the incident. Sharing her concerns on the prevailing situation, a resident said, “While the rains have brought us some respite from the heat, we are facing a lot of difficulty commuting due to extensive waterlogging. We are experiencing showers at regular intervals.
In its daily weather briefing on July 7, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said heavy rainfall was likely to occur over North India in the next four to five days. “Heavy rains in North India for the next four to five days. The effect of active monsoon will be seen in other States,” the IMD said in a statement. The agency urged people to take necessary precautions against heavy rainfall.
(With inputs from agencies)