Heavy rains continue in Himachal, main rivers in spate

Tourist attraction spot Rohtang Pass closed

Shimla.

The southwest monsoon remained aggressive on Sunday in Himachal Pradesh with most of the areas experiencing heavy to extremely heavy rains, causing landslides in some areas and blocking the highways. All the major rivers and their tributaries were in spate, officials said.

The water level in the Beas river also rose abnormally touching the Chandigarh-Manali National Highway 21 near the Hanogi temple in Mandi district.

While picturesque tourist town Manali recorded the highest rainfall in the state at 127 mm, it was 125 mm in Dharamsala, 124 mm in Una and 90 mm in Dalhousie.

State capital Shimla saw 47 mm rain. Higher reaches of Kullu, Kinnaur and Lahaul-Spiti districts saw snowfall.

The highway that connects Manali with Leh in Jammu and Kashmir has been closed for traffic owing to heavy snow, officials said.

"The traffic between Manali and Leh has been closed since Saturday," an official of the 38 Task Force of the General Reserve Engineering Force (GREF) told media representatives.

The Manali-Leh highway is crucial to the movement of the armed forces and their supplies and wares to forward areas in Ladakh.

An official of the Himachal Road Transport Corporation said it would take a week to restart bus services between Manali via Keylong and Leh.

Meanwhile, the 13,050 feet high Rohtang Pass, the main tourist attraction and located 52 km from here, was closed.

An official of the local Met office said there are chances of heavy rainfall at some places in the state till Monday and thereafter the intensity of rains will start receding.

Incessant rains have also caused massive landslides on national highways in Shimla, Kinnaur, Mandi and Kullu districts, hampering vehicular traffic.

The water level in the major rivers of the state – the Satluj, Beas and Yamuna – which enter the neighbouring states of Punjab and Haryana has also increased, a government official said.

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