Indian states like Rajasthan, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu have stood by Himachal Pradesh in this hour of crisis as India’s popular tourist destination Himachal Pradesh is battling a natural disaster and people are losing their lives.
Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu took to X (formerly Twitter) on Wednesday morning, urging people to refrain from non-essential travel and avoid areas prone to flooding and landslides.
Orange alert, landslide
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued an orange alert of heavy to very heavy rainfall (115.6 to 204.4 mm) at isolated areas of the state between 22nd and 24th August. Also, flash flood warning has been issued for districts like Shimla, Sirmaur, Kangra, Chamba, Mandi, Hamirpur, Solan, Bilaspur and Kullu.
The state is experiencing floods and landslides which have been triggered by incessant heavy rains since the past few of days leaving almost 80 people dead till now. The natural calamity has left more than 500 roads blocked across the state including parts of the Shimla-Kalka National Highway 5, Shimla-Chandigarh Highway, Mandi-Kullu road or National Highway 21 and or Mandi-Pathankot Highway leading to severe traffic congestion in many areas.
Some houses in Solan district have been damaged due to landslides while some areas are experiencing power cuts due to heavy rains. There are incessant heavy rains in several districts across the state and the met department is predicting moderate to heavy rainfall accompanied by thunderstorms at least till 24th August.
Schools, colleges shut
Amid incessant rains, schools and colleges across the state have been shut for two days in the districts of Shimla, Mandi and Solan starting Wednesday. As per administrative order, educational institutions at Dharamshala in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh have been shut for Wednesday while those in Shimla district will be shut till Thursday (24th August). Emergency helpline numbers have also been issued for the people.
CSR help, financial support from other states
In this hour of crisis, states like Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Rajasthan have stood by Himachal Pradesh. Private companies are also contributing to the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund as part of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin has written to Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu expressing his support and also contributed Rs 10 crore for relief work.
Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has announced a donation of Rs 15 crore from the Karnataka government to assist the rain and landslide-affected individuals in Himachal Pradesh, while Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has announced a financial assistance of Rs 15 crore from the Government of Rajasthan for the affected people.
Private companies are also donating for the cause as part of their CSR initiative. A company called Bandhan Agritech Pvt Ltd presented a cheque of Rs 2,11,111 towards the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund in Shimla on Wednesday. UCO Bank Circle Office Shimla donated Rs 11 lakhs for the cause while BAHL Production Shimla contributed Rs 51,000 towards the Disaster Relief Fund.