By Arun Pratap Singh
Dehradun, 11 Aug: Heavy rainfall, particularly in the hills of Garhwal and parts of Kumaon hills, has caused havoc in the state, leading to landslides and road blockages in several parts of the state. Most rivers in the state are flowing close to the danger mark, even as the State Weather Centre of Government of India has issued a warning in respect of heavy rains in 7 districts including Dehradun till 14 August. An Orange Alert has been issued by the department.
Director of the State Meteorological Department has issued a warning of heavy rains in the state till 14 August and the rain may continue even after that. According to Bikram Singh, Director of the State Weather Centre, heavy rains are likely in seven districts of the state till 14 August but the rains are likely to extend beyond even that. These districts are Dehradun, Tehri, Pithoragarh, Bageshwar, Nainital, Udham Singh Nagar and Pauri. There is also a possibility of lightning striking some places in the state during this period. On the other hand, there may be heavy to very heavy rainfall on 13 and 14 August in Haridwar district. It may also be recalled that on Monday, the Dehradun-Mussoorie road was blocked due to landslide. Though smaller vehicles are being permitted, bigger four wheelers are being diverted to the Kempty Fall-Mussoorie Road. Unfortunately, even the alternate routes like Kimari-Hathipaon Road and Kimari-Cloud End Road are blocked due to landslides. Work is underway to make this route operational at the earliest. The landslide on Mussoorie Road occurred at Paniwala Bend and would take time to be repaired.
River Ganga has reached the danger mark in Haridwar and Rishikesh, while in Srinagar (District Pauri), Alaknanda has reached the danger mark. Due to the continuous rains in the hills, the level of Ganga in Rishikesh is touching the warning line at Swargashram where the Shiva statue is almost submerged at Paramarth Niketan Ghats.
In Rishikesh, the Triveni Ghat is submerged and it is flowing 15 cms above the warning line. It may be recalled that here the warning line is set at 339.50 metres. The danger mark is set at 340.50 metres. Police personnel have been deployed here by the Rishikesh Kotwali. Slum dwellers living on the banks of the Chandrabhaga River have been asked to move to a safer place. According to the Central Water Commission, the Ganga’s water level continues to rise.
Not only the Ganga but its tributaries are also flowing near the danger mark. Today the water of the Ganga in Rishikesh started flowing above the danger level. The water level of the Alaknanda River in Srinagar has reached the danger mark. The Devprayag-Gaja motorway, used as an alternative route, has also been closed near Lasser, while the Badrinath National Highway is also closed. At the same time, a drain near Ghora Padao near Yamunotri Dham caused a flash flood due to rain. The road connecting Yamunotri Dham has been obstructed by debris as a result. Along with this, there has been a lot of damage to Ghora Padao. Travellers going to Yamunotri Dham or returning from there are having to make their way through the wet debris which is blocking the road. At the same time, some houses have were damaged due to landslide at several places in District Bageshwar. In Kapkot, rivulets are overflowing due to heavy rains and the River Kali was also in spate in Dharchula, Jauljibi and Jhulaghat.
By Arun Pratap Singh