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Erratic monsoon rains in Himachal kill 20, cause Rs. 380 crores loss so far

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Manali National Highway landslide

Shimla – Triggered by heavy monsoon rains, landslides and flash-floods on the National and State Highways of Himachal Pradesh continue. On Wednesday morning, a huge boulder rolled-down the hill due to a landslide and hit a loaded poultry truck on Manali-Chandigarh National Highway (NH)-21.

Three passengers, who were transporting the supply to Manali, were injured. No causality was reported. However, the collision was so powerful that it had almost pushed the truck off the road but was prevented by another boulder on the edge of the road. Heavy rains continue to lash most parts of Himachal, leading to loss of lives and damage of property worth hundreds of crores.

The rain fall data from August 1 to 7 have received 55 per cent more rain than the common pattern. As per the government assessment, the overall rainfall is deficient by minus 6 per cent but the pattern is very erratic and disastrous which has led to the loss of lives and property in the state.

Damage Assessment

During this monsoon season, so far, landslides, cloudbursts, flash floods etc. have killed over 20 persons including children. In terms of the livestock losses, so far, 124 animals including sheep, goats, cows, buffalos, and horses etc. have died.

Damage to road network including state roads, district roads and rural roads, besides bridges and culverts has been assessed to Rs. 291 crore. Water and irrigation schemes has also sustained a Rs. 80 crore loss. Similarly, three crore loss was reported to the electricity infrastructure. As per the government report, the total loss was assessed to be over Rs. 380 crores.

By August 8, more than 280 roads were damaged and blocked during last week, out of which 200 would be opened. About 740 schemes of IPH were also damaged. By August 8, 540 of these schemes were restored, claimed the government.

As per the Director Horticulture, the apple transportation is smooth and more than 19 lakh apple boxes were already sent to various markets from the state.

Rs. 64 crore had been released to Deputy Commissioners and stakeholders departments such as PWD, IPH, Electricity etc. for immediate restoration work and more funds would be provided on the need basis, said the government.

The losses could cross the current statistics as the Meteorological Department has warned of possible heavy rainfall in next five days with very heavy rains in isolated places.

The Health department has been directed to conduct a special drive for prevention of epidemics and water borne diseases and keep on reviewing any such incidence and take corrective measures immediately.

Directions were given to make response teams (QRT) operational in all the districts.

All hydel power project authorities have been asked to strictly ensure no release of water from reservoirs without prior warning. They have been asked to ensure proper dissemination of warning and alerts at least 24 hours before releasing of water from dams and reservoirs.

It is expected that the government departments will prepare and update the memorandum of losses and sent timely to the Central Government.

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HP By-Polls 2021: Silence Period Extended to Three Days

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hp by polls 2021 silence period

Shimla-The campaigning period during Himachal Pradesh by-elections has been fixed from 10 am to 7 pm every day. The silence period has been extended from two days to three days before the closing date of voting, which will start after 6 pm on 27th October 2021.

During the no active campaigning by the candidates or political parties is allowed, and television or any digital media cannot carry any election-related matter.

This information was released by Chief Electoral Officer, Himachal Pradesh, C. Paulrasu. He said that the Election Commission of India has limited the period of campaigning during by-election 2021 in view of the guidelines issued for the prevention of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He has urged all the candidates and political parties participating in the by-elections of Mandi Parliamentary Constituency and Fatehpur, Jubbal-Kotkhai and Arki Assembly Constituencies to comply with these guidelines related to the election campaign.

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Campus Watch

Nauni Varsity Scholar Naincy Bags Scholarship to Pursue PhD in France

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Naincy Sagar uhf nauni scholar

Solan: Naincy Sagar, an alumna of Dr. YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Nauni has bagged a fellowship for pursuing PhD from France. Nancy has reached France and will be pursuing PhD in Forest Genetics from the University of Orléans under INRAE fellowship. INRAE is France’s National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment.

Naincy has completed her BSc Forestry from College of Horticulture and Forestry (COH&F), Neri in 2018 and MSc Forest Biology and Tree Improvement and Genetic Resources from UAS, Dharwad, under ICAR’s National Talent Scheme. Before leaving for France last week, Naincy was working as a Junior Research Fellow in a research project at COH&F, Neri.

She had applied for a PhD with a scholarship in Forest Genetics which was advertised by INRAE. Naincy was successful in the interview and was awarded a fellowship for three years for pursuing PhD at the University of Orléans. During the course of the PhD, she will receive a total scholarship of around Rs 70 lakh along with medical reimbursement. Naincy will be working on forest tree larch species in the Project titled ‘Vigour at what cost? ‘Trade-off’ of hybrid vigour in Larch-Phenological, morphological and physiological determinants of hybrid superiority in Larix X eurolepis’ with a team of 20 scientists of Joint Integrated Biology Research Unit having expertise in genetics, genomics and physiology for the enhancement of tree and forest diversity

Dr. Parvinder Kaushal, Vice-Chancellor of the university spoke to Naincy via web conferencing and congratulated her. Dr. Kaushal, who has also done his doctorate from France, shared some tips and suggestions. He asked Naincy to explore this opportunity to learn about new cultures along with doing research that could help to enhance and conserve forest wealth in the future.

Naincy expressed gratitude towards her father Satya Prakash Sagar (Retd. SDO BSNL) and mother Monika Sagar, who is working as SDO in BSNL for their continuous support for higher studies. She also thanked Vice-Chancellor Dr. Parvinder Kaushal, Dean Dr. Kamal Sharma and Dr. Dushyant Sharma, Project Investigator and all the university staff for their support and guidance. The university administration, Dean of COH&F Neri congratulated Naincy and wished her success.  

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Bad Weather Warning for Himachal, Tourists and Locals Advised Not to Venture into Higher Hills

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weather alert in himachal pradesh

Shimla– The Himachal Pradesh Meteorological Department, Shimla, has predicted heavy to very heavy rains for middle and lower hills on October 17th and 18th. The Met has also issued orange and yellow alerts for various districts.

Meanwhile, heavy snowfall has been predicted in higher hills and advisory has been issued for both locals and tourists to avoid travelling to higher hills.

While a yellow alert with a prediction of thunderstorms and lightning at isolated places has been issued for Una and Hamirpur district on October 17, an orange alert with a prediction of heavy rainfall, thunderstorm, lightning and hailstorm at isolated places has been issued for Bilaspur, Chamba, Kangra, Kullu, Mandi, Shimla, Solan, Sirmaur, and Kinnaur.

For October 18, a yellow alert has been issued for Una, Bilaspur, Hamirpur, Chamba, and Kullu districts and an orange alert for the remaining districts.

The Deputy Commissioner, Lahaul-Spiti, warned that in view of the Met Department’s forecast for the next two days, locals and tourists should avoid Manali-Leh National Highway (NH-03) and refrain from venturing into higher hills.

In case, travel is unavoidable due to some compelling circumstances, such candidates have been asked to confirm weather and road conditions on given telephone numbers, which are 9459661355, 01900-202509, 510, 517 and 1077.

The DC also informed that in case of any emergency, people should contact the District Disaster Management Cell, Lahaul-Spiti, on 01900 202509, 510, 517, and Tall Free -1077.

The weather is predicted to be dry on October 19 and 20. 

Feature Photo: Photo by Rodrigo Souza from Pexels

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