Over 800 students and their teachers, who had gone to Himachal’s Chamba district to participate in a sports competition, are stranded in a remote Holi area of tribal Bharmour sub-division due to landslides.
Also stranded are around 300 people, including locals, Buddhist monks, foreign tourists and students in Lahaul and Spiti, the tribal district which has been cut-off from the rest of the state due to heavy snowfall.
On students stranded in Chamba, Prithi Pal Singh, additional district magistrate (ADM) Bharmour, said, “All the students are safe. They are lodged at Government School, Holi. The administration is making every effort to restore the road which has been blocked at three-four locations.”
He said that villagers and administrative officials are taking care of their food and other requirements.
According to the reports, 150 roads in Chamba district including many national highways have been blocked due to landslides.
Twenty-five people have died in flashfloods, landslides, roof-collapse and other incidents triggered by incessant rain in north India. Eight deaths have been reported from Himachal Pradesh, seven from J&K, six from Punjab, and four from Haryana.
The students from IIT Roorkee, who were stranded in Lahaul Valley as landslides triggered by incessant rain, heavy snow blocked the road links to Manali.
According to IANS reports, as conveyed by an official over phone from Manali, “Nearly 40 students of IIT-Roorkee were taken to an Army base camp at Sissu from where they were brought to Manali via Rohtang tunnel”
A total of 249 people have been rescued so far, and 300 still stranded, reports IANS
35-40 students of IIT-Roorkee, five residents of Kolkata and two German trekkers were among 249 persons rescued on Tuesday from the icy heights of Himachal Pradesh in a joint operation by the district administration and the Border Roads Organisation (BRO), officials said.
The Indian Air Force will start airlifting the stranded people, comprising locals and tourists, believed to be around 500 on Wednesday morning. They will be brought to Manali and Kullu towns.
They have been stranded for the past two-three days at various locations in and around district headquarters Keylong after the onset of heavy snow that hampered road links. All are safe and have been provided accommodation and eatables, officials said.
Most of the stranded people were shifted to Keylong, which is 121 km from Manali, and from there, they would be either airlifted by the IAF or brought to Manali by road on Wednesday.
As per government spokesperson “The priority in airlifting will be given to old, sick and women,” and has advised tourists not to venture into remote areas of the state as chances of snow were still high.