200 Rain-Related Deaths Reported in Himachal During Monsoon, Tourism Industry Faces Setback

4 August, 2023 | Anupam Shrivastava

Himachal Top News

The Principal Secretary of disaster management for Himachal government expressed concern over the escalating loss of lives and the increasing damages to infrastructure due to the incessant rains.

The state disaster management authority of Himachal Pradesh revealed that a staggering 199 rain-related deaths have been reported in the past 41 days since the onset of the monsoon. Additionally, 31 people remain missing, and 229 individuals are injured due to extreme weather conditions.

Among the recorded fatalities, 57 people lost their lives in landslides and flash floods, while a more significant number, 142 individuals, died in road accidents during the monsoon period. The state is facing a critical situation as the loss of lives continues to rise while trying to cope with the aftermath of relentless rains and floods.

The Principal Secretary of disaster management for the state government expressed concern over the escalating loss of lives and the increasing damages to infrastructure due to the incessant rains. As per the available data, the estimated loss to infrastructure during this period amounts to a staggering INR 6563.58 crores.

The impact of the rain-triggered flash floods has been severe, with 774 houses damaged, and 7317 houses partially damaged. In addition, 254 shops and 2337 cow sheds suffered damage. The state witnessed a total of 79 landslides and 53 flash flood incidents, further highlighting the severity of the situation in the state of Himachal.

As a consequence of the adverse weather conditions, nearly 300 roads remain closed in Himachal, causing transportation woes for the residents. Moreover, 274 electricity and 42 water supply schemes are still disrupted, adding to the hardships faced by the people.

Amid the heavy rain warning issued by the Indian Meteorological Department for the next two days in Himachal Pradesh, the state disaster management authority issued an alert. The situation remains precarious, and authorities are working diligently to mitigate further damages and casualties.

While the disaster has had a widespread impact, the tourism industry in Shimla has faced a devastating blow. The Kalka-Shimla four-lane National Highway 5 in Solan district was washed away in a landslide, hindering the region’s prospects for tourism revival. The state capital was hopeful of an influx of tourists in September and October, but fears of flash floods and landslides have deterred travellers from visiting the area.

Mohinder Seth, President of the Himachal Pradesh Tourism Stakeholders Association, expressed the industry’s concerns, stating that the recent rain and floods had already taken a toll on businesses, and the road damage has further exacerbated the situation. The stakeholders are now grappling with uncertainty about the future of tourism in the state capital.

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