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Don’t venture near rivers, Himachal CM advises I-Day holidaymakers

IANS | August 13, 2023 08:00 PM

SHIMLA: With the Met Office predicting heavy rain with high possibility of flashfloods and blocking of highways and link roads, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu on Sunday advised the tourists venturing to hill destinations for the Independence Day weekend to refrain from venturing near rivers and water bodies.

“Several parts of Himachal Pradesh are experiencing heavy rainfall over the past 48 hours. I strongly advise both local residents and tourists who are visiting Himachal Pradesh for the Independence Day extended weekend to refrain from venturing near rivers and water bodies, ” Sukhu tweeted.

Moderate to heavy rainfall accompanied with thunderstorms is very likely to continue in districts of Chamba, Bilaspur, Solan, Shimla, Sirmaur, Una, Hamirpur, Mandi and Kullu, an official of the Meteorological Office here told IANS.

As per state government figures, 255 people have lost their lives across Himachal in rain-related incidents from June 24 to August 12.

According to the state police, traffic in Solan district on the Chandigarh-Shimla national highway is currently running in single lane due to slides and debris in other lane.

“Please avoid non-essential travel in prevailing weather conditions, ” said HP Traffic, Tourist and Railways Police.

As per the police update, the Pandoh Dam reservoir in Mandi district is full and dam gates have been opened. “Stay away from the banks of the Beas river, ” it said.

Mandi is one of the worst affected districts. The administration has closed all educational institutions in the district till August 14. Likewise in Shimla urban areas, all institutions have been closed till further order.

The water level in all rivers of the state -- Satluj, Beas and Yamuna -- which enter the neighbouring states of Punjab and Haryana, has abnormally increased, a government official told IANS.

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