incessant rains snap air, rail, road communication in Himachal, toll reaches 55

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With one more death reported, the toll in the Himachal Pradesh monsoon fury went up to 55 on Monday, as continuous rainfall over the past three days paralysed normal life, snapping air, rail and road communication.

Half a dozen people were reported missing, amidst fears they might have drowned in flash floods or buried in landslides. A state government official said relief and rescue operation has been hit because of the inclement weather.

Moreover, most of the link and major roads, National Highways, rail, air, water supply and power services have been disrupted by flash floods, landslides and the obstructions created by heavy boulders.

Reports arriving from Kinnaur said despite the tribal district receiving fewer showers, the continuous downpour disrupted road communication between Shimla and Kinnaur districts due to the closing down of Hindustan Tibet National Highway.

The condition of National Highway 305 on Luhri Aani Banjar Road is not suitable for risk-free traffic movement.

National Highway Authority of India’s Executive Engineer KL Suman said the National Highway connecting Shimla and Kinnaur is blocked at many places and the condition of Ani Banjar NH is also worse.

District administrations of Shimla, Kullu and Kinnuar have warned people and migrant workers to not go near the in spate Sutlej and Beas rivers. Apart from flashflood and insistent rainfall, the discharge of water from dams to desilt hydro projects has turned the situation grim.

Sutlej River is also posing danger to the houses built on its banks.

NDRF personnel are trying to evacuate tourists and migrant workers who are stranded on either bank of the Sutlej and Beas rivers.

On Sunday NDRF rescued nine persons in Kullu. Six persons were also rescued from the Nagwayin area of Mandi district.

Train services on the Kalka-Shimla Railway line were suspended after a rail car derailed on Saturday evening.

The business of apple and tomato growers has also been hit by the lack of transportation.

The India Meteorological Department has issued a red alert for Kangra, Kullu, Mandi, Shimla, Sirmaur, Una, Bilaspur, Solan, and Hamirpur districts with the forecast of moderate to heavy rain, thundershowers at most places and extremely heavy rain, thundershower at one or two places.

According to the Met Office, about 300 to 350 mm of rainfall has been recorded in the last 72 hrs.

The flood waters could cause havoc in the catchment area of Harayana, Punjab, NCR Delhi and Rajasthan, with all major rivers flowing above the danger mark.

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