( CM at Bhuntar)

Respite from incessant rains and a clear sky on Wednesday came as a big relief to a large number of people affected by flash floods and fury of rains in Himachal Pradesh,  as the state government mobilized all its resources to beef up relief and restoration work.

The state government, which has sought the help of the Indian Air Force in rescuing stranded tourists and locals from higher reaches, air  lifted ten children and elderly persons from Chandratal lake in Lahaul – Spiti district.

Five tourists have been airlifted from trans Giri area in Sirmaur district.

 Six IAF helicopters had taken sorties in the morning but the rescue operation had to be abandoned due to snowfall in the area. Nearly three hundred tourists are stuck up at Chandratal Lake and the district administration has sent teams to provide food, medicines and other essential items.

 About two hundred pilgrims are still stranded in Manimahesh and nearly a hundred tourists are stuck up on high reaches of Kullu district.

Chief Minister, Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu conducted an aerial survey of rain affected areas of Kullu, Mandi, and Lahaul-Spiti districts to assess the losses and monitor relief work. He also visited various Bhuntar, Sainj, Kasol, Kheerganga in Kullu district and interacted with the affected people.

 Expressing his condolences to the families of people losing lives during this period, the CM assured them to provide all possible help and announced a relief of Rs one crore .

The CM said, “Efforts were underway to restore the power supply and drinking water supply in the district as soon as possible and airlifting of stranded people is being undertaken, besides supplying essential commodities.”

Deputy Chief Minister Muskesh Agnihortri also visited rain affected areas in Mandi and talked to affected people assuring them all possible help.

He said, “More than five thousand water schemes of Jal Shakti department have been damaged from the current rains and four thousand water schemes would be restored in the next twenty four hours.”

( Former CM Jai Ram Thakur visiting flood affected areas in Thunag )

Former Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur also visited flood affected Thunag and other areas in his Seraj constituency to take stock of damages.

He said, “Though people in six villages have left their homes due to danger posed to their houses from landslides, one thousand people have been evacuated, hundreds of roads are blocked, several villages are without drinking water and electricity but nobody from the district administration has come to help villagers.”

He also appealed to the CM to immediately start relief and restoration work in the Seraj Assembly constituency.

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