Heavy Rainfall Damages Kullu-Mandi Highway in Himachal Pradesh, Stranding Vehicles

In the wake of heavy rainfall in Himachal Pradesh’s Kullu district, the Kullu-Mandi Highway suffered severe damage, leading to a major disruption in traffic flow, according to officials on Thursday. The highway damage resulted in hundreds of vehicles being stranded on the route, causing significant inconvenience for commuters.

Frustration and concern grew among those stuck in the traffic jam, with a commuter expressing, “There is a traffic jam stretching to nearly 5-10 kilometers. We have nothing to eat or drink. People are starving here. The snarl should be cleared soon,” in a statement to ANI.

Efforts are being undertaken by the Public Works Department to restore normal traffic conditions as quickly as possible. Superintendent of Police, Kullu, Sakshi Verma, stated, “The road connecting Kullu and Mandi has been damaged. An alternative route via Pandoh has also been damaged. Hence, the movement of traffic is suspended for now.” She further added, “Unless fresh rainfall disrupts the ongoing restoration work, the road, in all likelihood, will be opened for small vehicles by tonight.”

The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) issued a red alert predicting heavy to very heavy rainfall in Himachal Pradesh over a two-day period, commencing on Thursday.

Residents across the state bore the brunt of relentless showers, grappling with waterlogging and fallen trees that posed threats to their safety. Shimla, in particular, recorded 190 mm of rainfall within 24 hours, with an additional 60 mm received on Thursday morning.

The consequences of incessant rainfall were further exacerbated by landslides, cloudbursts, and flash floods, causing substantial damage to the ecologically sensitive hill state. With the ongoing devastation, the state government declared the entire region as a ‘natural calamity affected area’.

The financial toll from the continuous rainfall reached Rs 8014.61 crore since June 24, with numerous houses partially or completely damaged. The state has also witnessed 113 landslides during this monsoon season, while the loss of lives, both directly and indirectly attributed to the monsoon’s fury, has reached 341 as reported by a government bulletin earlier.

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