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Himachal shocked as 2 bus accidents within 24 hours kills 22, injure 78

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himachal bus accidents

SHIMLA-As many as 22 people were killed and around 78 injured in two road accidents in Mandi and Kangra districts of Himachal Pradesh in the past 24 hours. The victims included tourists from Punjab, West Bengal and Himachal Pradesh.

Twelve people died at Golu near Jogindernagar in Mandi district Saturday night when a Reckong Peo-bound Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) bus skidded off the road and plunged into a 100-metre deep gorge.

Also Read: Bus falls into gorge, kills 10, injures 30

According to reports, the driver, who was also killed in the accident, was attempting to overtake another bus.

Eyewitnesses said the other bus signalled to Krishan Chand, the HRTC driver, to overtake it. However, since optical fibre cables were being installed in that portion of the road, it was unstable. Chand realised it too late and skidded off the road,

a police sources said quoting a passenger. Other passengers said the bus was being rashly driven.

Forty-four people were also injured in the accident and later shifted to three government hospitals in Mandi and Kangra districts. The condition of six was reported to be critical.

Vivek Chandel, Additional District Magistrate (ADM) Mandi, who was overseeing the rescue and relief operations, said that barring one, all other deceased had been identified. Five among the dead were members of a family from West Bengal. He added that interim relief has been given to the next of kin of all local victims. Deputy Commissioner Mandi Sandeep Kadam said he had ordered a magisterial probe into the accident.

In the second accident, 10 persons died, four of them on the spot, when a private tourist bus from Amritsar, on its way to Jawalaji shrine, skidded off the road near Dalyara and plunged into a gorge.

The accident happened at around 2.30 pm. There were 40 passengers on the bus. There were 17 women, three children. The driver failed to negotiate a sharp curve and lost control of the vehicle,

said Ritesh Chauhan DC Kangra.

He said seven persons who had died were identified and their families in Amritsar were being notified. All the injured have been shifted to Dr Rajendra Prasad Medical College hospital.

Himachal Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh visited the hospital and directed authorities to provide free treatment. He also announced compensation of Rs 5 lakh each to the next of kin of those who died in the accidents.

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Vivek Kumar of Kangra Among Those Martyred in Helicopter Crash, Leaves Behind Wife and 2-Month-Old Son

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vivek kumar jaisinghpur kangra

Kangra-The demise of the Chief of Defence Staff, General Bipin Rawat, his wife along with 11 others onboard an Indian Air Force Mi-17V5 helicopter that crashed in Coonoor of Tamil Nadu on Wednesday shocked the nation.

Tributes were pouring in across the world for India’s first CDS and other departed souls.

A village in Kangra district – Thehado (ठेहडू) in Jaisinghpur subdivision-is also mourning the demise of Vivek Raj who was also onboard the ill-fated chopper. Lance Nayak Vivek Kumar 1 Para (SF) was PSO to the CDS, Bipin Rawat.

Vivek left behind a wife and 2-months-old son. He had joined the J&K Rifles in 2012 and later served as a commando. He had got married in 2020. The news of his departure has left the family devastated. A pall of gloom has descended upon his native village. His father Ramesh Chand is a daily wager and his mother is a housewife. His younger brother runs a bakery shop in Baijnath.     

On Thursday, officials from the Defence visited his house for collecting the DNA sample of the parents. The bodies, according to the report, were burnt so badly in the crash that it was difficult to ascertain their identities. The DNA samples would help in the identification.

According to the official reports, the sole survivor of the crash, Group Captain Varun Singh, was on life support at the Military Hospital at Wellington.

Meanwhile, the Indian Air Force has retrieved the Flight Recorder of the Black Box of the helicopter. The cause of the crash was still under investigation.

Bipin Rawat along with his wife and other 13 was on his way to the Defence Services Staff College in Wellington to deliver a lecture.

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Shimla, Manali Receive Season’s First Spell of Snow, Cheers Tourism Industry

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snowfall in shimla 2021

Shimla-First spell of snow in Shimla’s tourist destinations, Narkanda and Kufri, has cheered the tourism industry as it would increase the footfall of tourists. Similarly, higher parts of Manali also reported a light spell of snow on Sunday evening. Lahaul-Spiti, however, reportedly witnessed heavy snowfall and Atal Tunnel, Rohtang, was closed for traffic. Parts of the Kinnaur district also recorded a spell of snow.

Chopal in Shimla had received 2-3 inches of snow, while Dodra Kwar recorded one foot of snow, according to the Met Department.

In Kullu, Jalori Pass had received 3 inches of snow, Rohtang top 2.5 feet, and Atal Tunnel 1.5 feet.

In Lahaul-Spiti, Koksar/Sissu had recorded 18 inches of snow, Keylong 8 inches, Darcha 12 inches, Udaipur 4 inches, Tindi 2 inches, Kaza 1 inch, and Lossar 2 inches of snow.

In Kinnaur, Chitkul had recorded 15.4 cms of snow, Kalpa 5 cms, and Sangla 7.62 cms. Nichar also received a light spell.

This change in weather has triggered a cold wave across the state. Further, the Himachal Pradesh Meteorological Department had issued a yellow alert for December 5, 2021. The Met has predicted rain and snow on December 6 too. While the weather is predicted to be dry on December 8, the state could witness more rain and snow on December 7 and December 9, according to the Met Department.

Most roads, except in Lahaul-Spiti, remain open to traffic movement, the district administrations of Shimla and Kullu confirmed. Further, the administrations said preparations are being made to keep the roads clear in case of heavy snowfall.

This tourist season is crucial for the hospitality industry which was worst hit by the pandemic induced restrictions. However, the entry of Omicron – the new variant of Covid-19 that has been termed as a variant of concern by the WHO-haunts the season. India had reported as many as 21 cases of Omicron till Sunday. If the HP Government decides to impose restrictions on the entry of the domestic tourist in view of the spread of the new variant, the hospitality industry could again face losses.  

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Himachal Achieves 100% Vaccination Target, OPD at AIIMS, Bilaspur, Inaugurated   

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Shimla-Himachal Pradesh has achieved the 100 percent target of the second dose of Covid vaccination, the State government informed on Sunday.  Himachal Pradesh has become the first State of the country in achieving the target of cent per cent vaccination of targeted eligible age group, it informed.  

According to the HP Government, all eligible 53,86,393 adults have been administered the second dose of the vaccine.

District-Wise Vaccination Details

District

Number of People Vaccinated 

Bilaspur  318150
Chamba 352605
Hamirpur 361954
Kangra 1140439
Kinnaur 68460
Kullu 322643
Lahaul-Spiti 25494
Mandi 738818
Shimla 634019
Sirmaru 410187
Solan 584326
Una 429298

A complete vaccination was performed first in the inaccessible areas and tribal areas of the state and Kinnaur district became the first district in the entire country to administer the second dose of the vaccine to all eligible adults, the government informed.

On this occasion, Jagat Prakash Nadda, the Member of Parliament and National BJP President, also addressed a felicitation ceremony of Covid Vaccination Workers at Bilaspur on Sunday.

Nadda also dedicated the first OPD at AIIMS Kothipura in Bilaspur. The AIIMS Bilaspur would be made fully functional within the next six months, said Nadda.

 

jp nadda at aiims bilaspur

JP Nadda at AIIMS Bilaspur

He said that the foundation stone of this institution was laid about three years back and it would have been completed a year ago, but the pace was affected due to the corona pandemic. He said that Himachal Pradesh has got an Rs. 500 crore Satellite centre of PGI Chandigarh at Una.

He also congratulated the State Government, doctors, health care workers and all the frontline workers for achieving this unique feat. 

Union Minister of Health, Chemicals and Fertilizers Mansukh Mandaviya, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur and Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Youth Affairs and Sports Anurag Singh were also present on the occasion

 

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