Modi Assures Full Help to Rain-Battered States

New Delhi: For the third consecutive day, incessant rains wreaked havoc in several parts of northern India, with Himachal Pradesh being the most affected. Tragically, four more lives were lost in landslides in HP while Nine people have died in rain-related incidents in Punjab and Haryana. The Army and NDRF teams have significantly ramped up their efforts in relief and rescue operations.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi assured Chief Ministers of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand of full assistance from the Centre. Modi’s office stated that he also talked to senior ministers and officials to assess the impact of the heavy rainfall across various parts of the country.

The torrential downpour has caused several rivers to overflow. As a result, numerous roads and residential areas in cities and towns throughout the region have been submerged in knee-deep water. The civic infrastructure has struggled to cope with the unprecedented rainfall experienced on Sunday.

“The rescue operations are being undertaken as per the situation on ground and in coordination with the state authorities,” an NDRF spokesperson said.

In Punjab, the Army rescued 910 students and 50 others from a private university in the state after it was flooded with water due to heavy rains. The civil administration in Punjab and Haryana had earlier sought help for the rescue operation from the Army, which sent the Flood Relief columns of Army’s Western Command to assist the administration in the flood affected areas of the two states.

In Shimla, four more lives were lost due to landslides while the Shimla-Kalka highway was blocked on Monday morning. Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu stated that a total of 16 people have lost their lives in rain-related incidents within the state over the past two days.

He further said that the state has not witnessed such extensive rainfall in the last five decades.

Efforts are currently underway to rescue around 400 stranded tourists and locals who are stuck between Chandertal and Pagal and Teilgi nallah in Lahaul and Spiti, added the Chief Minister.

More than 120 roads are blocked in the district while 484 water supply schemes have been affected, the officials said.

In Rajasthan, intense monsoon rains brought normal life to a standstill in eastern and central parts of the state, flooding out roads, rail tracks, and even hospitals. More showers are expected to lash around a dozen districts on Tuesday as well.

A seven-year-old boy was swept away in the gushing waters of an overflowing drain in the Murlipura area in state capital Jaipur, where several areas reeled from waterlogging.

Punjab’s Patiala district was reeling under a flood-like situation following heavy monsoon rainfall, with authorities seeking the Army's assistance to combat the escalating crisis, officials said on Monday.

Floodwaters entered the premises of the Rajpura Thermal Power Plant here, leading to the shutdown of one of its 700 MW units, they said.

Evacuation of people living in low lying areas of Yamuna floodplains began on Monday evening with the river crossing the danger mark due to release of water from Hathnikund barrage in Haryana amid heavy rains in the northern belt of the country.

The Yamuna crossed the danger mark of 205.33 metres in Delhi as torrential rains pummelled the upper catchment areas of the river for the third day on the trot.

The river breached the danger mark earlier than expected. It was predicted that it would cross the danger mark only by Tuesday afternoon.

Meanwhile, retail price of tomato has touched up to Rs 200 per kg in some parts of the country including Delhi as incessant rains disrupted supplies, traders said and added that the rates of other vegetables have also firmed up.

As per the data maintained by the Consumer Affairs Ministry, the all-India average retail price of tomato was ruling at 104.38 per kg on Monday, with maximum price quoted was Rs 200 per kg in Swai Madhopur and minimum was Rs 31 per kg in Churu in Rajasthan.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle with agency inputs )
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