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Pics: Monsoon fury in Himachal kills 19 in 36 hours, hit 923 roads including 6 NHs

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Heavy Monsoon rain in Himachal wreak havoc

Shimla: During the past three days, Himachal Pradesh witnessed the wrath of heavy rain as about 18 people were killed with the highest eight casualties in Solan district. Shimla, as per the Meteorological Department, has received 172 mm rainfall in 24 hours – which is the second highest for the month of August after 1901.p;

In Solan, a landslide buried a family of four with their home. The water levels in rivers and rivulets of the State were recorded very high. The dams are also releasing water into the rivers after the heavy downpour.

Shimla witnessed felling of over 70 trees and several landslides that buried about three dozen vehicles and caused damage to several others.

A major landslide was also reported on Mehli-Shoghi bypass near Beolia in Shimla that buried several cars.
cars buried under Landslide

Several houses/jhuggi’s were also taken down by heavy rain in Krishna Nagar of Shimla in which over 30 people were said to have rendered homeless. It was alleged that these people did not get any considerable relief from the district administration. 

Heavy rain uproots trees in Shimla

Near Phagali on Shimla-Dhali Bypass

The traffic was choked on Shimla-Chandigarh and Manali-Chandigarh NH too due to which tourists, as well as locals, remain stuck in traffic for several hours.

The rains also hit the railway services on the Kalka-Shimla track due to which all trains were cancelled. There were reports of fresh landslides in Shimla-Chandigarh NH on Tuesday. The traffic flow also remained disrupted on Tuesday as well. 

In some parts, felling of trees caused damage to power supply lines resulting in a blackout.   

Krishnanagar homes damaged by rain

Houses collapsed as land caves in

About 923 roads were closed due to landslides in the state including six national highways and about 1,000 others were also affected temporarily.

The government said that work of restoration and clearance of roads is underway and assured relief by Tuesday evening.

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As per the information received at the state headquarters, 19 casualties have been reported so far from various districts including one each in Bilaspur and Una districts, two in Hamirpur, four in Mandi and eight in Solan district.

The rain has also caused losses to farmers as well as apple growers. The blockage of roads caused huge inconvenience to trucks carrying apple crops.

Rain damages in Himachal Pradesh 2018

Educational institutes remained closed for August 13 and 14 keeping in view the prediction of bad weather.

Tourists and locals were advised not to go along river-banks and district administrations were told to keep a close vigil on tracking activities.

As per the Deputy Commissioner, Kullu, the Manali national highway was blocked due to constant landslides.

In Kangra district, traffic was affected on 85 roads and most of these were cleared by Monday evening. Pathankot-Mandi road was cleared for light vehicles and the people stranded in Lambagaon were rescued by the administration.

In Hamirpur district, two casualties were reported in Bhoranj area due to landslips. The DC informed that 50 roads have been reopened for traffic and remaining 13 roads would be restored by tomorrow.

Deputy Commissioner Solan informed that eight casualties have been reported in Solan district. In all, 102 roads have been damaged in the district out of which traffic has been restored on 62 roads. The Kumarhatti-Nahan road has also been reopened for light vehicles.

In Bilaspur district, Swarghat national highway and Bilaspur-Shimla road have also been made through for traffic while the work on restoring the interior roads was in progress.

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In Kinnaur district, Maling Nallah and Skibba roads have been restored and the road to Sangla valley would also be made through by today evening where few tourists are stranded.

In Lahaul-Spiti district, Sumdo-Kaza-Gramphu road is blocked due to landslide and Meling-Kaza road has been restored.

One casualty has been reported in Mandi district and the vehicular traffic has been suspended as water approached the main road near Hanogi on national highway-21.

The Government of Himachal Pradesh has released Rs. 96.50 crore for relief and rescue operation in the state following losses to human life and the property due to heavy rainfall during last 24 hours.

The government has so far released Rs. 229 crores since April 1, 2018, and more funds would be released as per the requirement of the districts.

No Heavy Rains During Next 5 Days: Met

However, the Meteorological Department has predicted that there was no possibility of heavy rainfall in the state in the next five days.

A few places over middle and low hills and at isolated places over higher reaches in the next three days could witness light-to-moderate rainfall is likely to occur at, said Manmohan Singh, director, Meteorological Centre, Shimla.

 

Election Watch

In Himachal, Over 50 Lakh Voters to Cast Vote in 7730 Polling Stations on May 19

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Polling in Himachal Pradesh

Shimla– Over fifty lakh voters are set to vote in 7730 polling stations in four parliamentary constituencies of Himachal Pradesh in the last phase of the ongoing Lok Sabha election on May 19.

Talking about the poll preparations, Additional Chief Electoral Officer DK Rattan said, “53,30,154 voters will vote in 7730 polling stations on May 19. 373 polling stations are critical, 47 companies of central paramilitary forces have been deployed there.

It’s being ensured that voting takes place peacefully at all polling stations. Rattan said that polling agents have either reached their respective polling stations or are on their way

“Polling party for the remote, tribal polling station at Bara Bhangal in Kangra district was sent on May 15. In Shimla’s Dodra Kawar, teams and material were sent for seven polling stations on May 16,”

he said

“In Lahaul Spiti district, the polling station has been set at an altitude of 15,256 feet at Tashigang. This is the world’s highest polling station,”

he added. (ANI)

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Campus Watch

Nauni Varsity Scholar Selected for World Congress on Agroforestry 2019, France

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Krishan Lal Gautam of UHF Nauni in France

Solan: Krishan Lal Gautam, a doctorate student of Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry (UHF), Nauni has been selected to give a poster presentation at the 4th World Congress on Agroforestry, being held in Montpellier, France from 20-22 May 2019.

Based on the abstract the scientific committee of the Congress has selected Krishan Lal for receiving 1921 euros grant for attending the event. This includes 340 euros for registration and other fees while another 1,481 euros is being paid to facilitate travel, accommodation, visa and living expenses.

Krishan Lal has completed his B Sc (Hons) Forestry and M Sc Agroforestry from UHF. He is presently pursuing his doctorate in Agroforestry from the university. The title of the poster presentation is ‘Effect of different types of organic manure on the production of Lepidium sativum under Morus based agroforestry system’.

Dr HC Sharma, UHF Vice-Chancellor said that it was a great achievement for a student to be selected for an international academic event of such high repute. He hoped that Krishan Lal will not only represent the institution but also shine at the event. The Dean College of Forestry and the faculty also wished him success at the event.

The 4th World Congress on Agroforestry will see the participation of more than 1000 delegates and leading keynote speakers from all over the world to address a wide range of key agroforestry research issues. It will gather facts and figures from developing and developed countries and support a collaborative effort with broad social participation. Special attention will be given to vulnerable countries and populations.

The overall objective of the Congress is to contribute to the progress of agroforestry science and practice in order to bridge the science-policy gap. Some of the topics which will be covered during the congress are agroforestry and climate change, agroforestry, food security and nutrition, adoption of agroforestry, agroforestry policies etc.

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Misc News/Press Release

Shimla Rape Case: An Eyewitness Confirms Part of Victim’s Statement

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Update on Shimla Rape Case Victim

Shimla-The alleged case of rape with a 19-year-old in Shimla’s Bhattakufar area has become more complicated as an eyewitness confirmed a part of the victim’s statement given to police. As per reports, this eyewitness, in his statement, told police that he was parking his car on that night (28 April) when this girl came to him rushing and asking for help.

“He claimed the 19-year-old was in a semi-nude condition and was begging for help when he came across her near the Hill Grove on the Dhalli-Bhattakufar road,”

reported News 18

She was so scared that she tried to enter his car, he said. She asked him about the name of the location. The eyewitness told her that it was Hill Groove.

This eyewitness said he told the girl to not to worry and even told her that he would call her wife if that makes her feel safe.

A few minutes later, the eyewitness told the police, two persons came on a bike. One of the boys gave his shirt to the girl and took her with him. The eyewitness also gave initials of the bike number, and said he could not remember the complete number as it was dark.

The eyewitness also identified the boy in front of police later.

The police also questioned the boy, who is said to be a friend of the girl. As per the boy, he later provided the girl with his sister’s clothes. The sister of the boy also confirmed the same, said a Hindi Daily.

The eyewitness said that on reaching home he had told about this incident to his wife as well.

Sources said the girl had mentioned in her complaint seeking help from a man after she was allegedly raped, which has been now confirmed. The girl had made a call to his friend and on the Gudiya helpline between 9:20 PM and 10 PM. Police has not revealed any further details about the call records of the girl’s phone.

However, the appearance of this eyewitness has raised questions over the claim of the police that the girl’s statement was not matching with its findings.

Earlier, police had claimed that CCTV footages of about 1.5 km area concerned to the alleged crime did not corroborate with the girl’s statement regarding kidnap. Also, police had claimed that the girl had withdrawn her statement and denied her own allegations in her statement given before the magistrate under CrPC 164.

As a contrast to it, now police said a sketch of the accused have been prepared on the description given by the girl.

The report of the second opinion on medical examination of the girl has not been made public yet.

The report of the magisterial probe into the role of Lakkar Bazaar police that was to be submitted by Thursday evening has also been delayed.

As per the English Daily The Tribune, police have questioned about 70 persons in connection to the alleged crime.

“The girl had said the accused was not known to her and was in his early 30s, wore specs and had a mole on his lower lip.

the Daily reported.

So far, police is clueless about unidentified accused.

Another striking aspect related to the case is that the family of the victim has not given any statement so far.

Family of Victim Under Pressure from BJP Govt in Haryana: Rathor

On the other hand, the President of the Himachal Pradesh Congress Committee, Kuldeep Rathor, in a press conference in Solan district on Thursday claimed, the family of the girl was being pressurized to hush-up the matter. He alleged that he has received this information from credible sources. As the girl hails from Haryana, and BJP is in power in both Himachal Pradesh and Haryana, her family was pressurized to not speak of it. This is the reason that after filing an FIR, the girl had to withdraw her statement, he alleged.

Rathor has also demanded a judicial probe under the supervision of the State High Court for a fair investigation.  

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