Two persons were killed and normal life was disrupted in Himachal Pradesh as incessant rain triggered house collapse and landslides at many places cutting off several parts of the state and forcing the government to shut down major hydel projects affecting power supply to several northern states.
One person was buried under debris following a house collapse at Kuhed village in Chamba district while a woman died after she was struck by lightning at Neelan village in Bilaspur.
Meanwhile,many hydropower projects were shut down in the state due to rising silt levels affecting power supply to Delhi,Punjab,Haryana and Jammu and Kashmir.
The countrys largest Nathpa-Jhakri hydropower plant (1,500 MW),Karchham-Wangtoo (1,000 MW) Baspa (300 MW) and Chamera -I and Chamera-II (600 MW) were shut down late on Monday due to alarming rise in silt levels.
The silt level rose to 57,000 particle per million at Khab while it was 13,000 ppm at Nathpa dam against permissible level of 4,000 ppm.
The situation was worse in Karchham-Wangtoo and Baspa projects and all the units of these plants generating about 3,400 MW power have been closed to avoid damage to heavy machinery.
Continuous heavy rain in the last 60 hours wreaked havoc in lower hills of Kangra damaging houses,roads,bridges,water supply schemes,school buildings and affecting power supply.
Additional chief secretary (power and revenue),Deepak Sanan,said the district has suffered losses to the tune of Rs 61 crore in the past few days.
Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal,who was in Shimla today,directed Chief Secretary Sudripta Roy to put the Public Works Department (PWD) and deputy commissioners (DCs) on high alert to ensure immediate relief to the affected families.
The DCs will also send a report on the loss suffered so that the state government can take up the issue with the Centre for sending relief, Dhumal said.
He also directed the concerned officials to hold junior engineers of the PWD accountable if the road blockades are not cleared immediately.