With monsoon approaching in northern India, advisories were issued by Himachal Pradesh Government to make adequate preparations for the upcoming season.

The report issued by the IMD department states that the expectancy of monsoon would increase by 48% in the mountain state of Himachal which can cause problems to vulnerable areas prone to landslides and flooding. Seeing the situation Himachal Pradesh Chief Secretary, Anil Khachi directed the concerned authorities to ensure dissemination of weather advisories and also take adequate steps in the light of the upcoming rainy season.

The improvement in air quality associated with the lockdown could increase the expectancy of monsoon more than usual this year as per the Meteorological Department, Shimla. Every year Himachal Pradesh witnesses various landslides, floodings and other natural phenomenons but this year it requires special attention because of the ongoing pandemic and lack of human resources.

Further, the opening up of dams could add to problems of the state government. Khachi supervised over the meeting convened to review the preparedness for monsoon in the state and to take necessary actions.

For this Urban Local Bodies have been directed to ensure deployment of adequate manpower to clean drains and avoid clogging in the streets. Stress was also given to designate an “emergency response team” and hold a review meeting with dam authorities on the issue of providing early warnings to the locals. These warnings shall be provided before the release of dam water as per the guidelines of the Central Water Commission (CWC). Special instructions were also given to the electricity department in order to keep the supply lines maintained.

Areas such as Kinnaur, Lahaul- Spiti, Chamba and Dodra-Kawar in Rohru might get more attention as they are more prone to landslides during heavy rains. Khachi also directed concerned officials to stock an adequate amount of ration and other essentials like anti-venom vaccines and medicines.

Back in 2018, dam water released without prior warning caused immense damage to people residing nearby Pangi village in Himachal. Also in 2014, 24 students and one tour operator died due to the release of water from Larji Hydro Electric Project resulting in a sudden increase in the water of river Beas.

(By: Reet Arora)

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