Shimla: One person was killed and several vital bridges and large stretches of roads were washed away in flash floods caused by heavy rains in Manali area of Kullu district, cutting off areas beyond Manali from the rest of the state.
The flash floods that occurred late last night at Dhundi, 20 km from Manali near the construction site of Rohtang Tunnel, washed away the bailey bridge constructed by Border Roads Organisation.
Another bailey bridge near Palchan and some foot bridges were washed away in floods, which also badly damaged large stretches of Manali-Rohtang road near Palchan and Kullu Manali road at two points. Traffic had been stopped due to massive soil erosion, Deputy Commissioner, Kullu, Amitabh Awasti said.One person, who was inside a vehicle, was also washed away besides some vehicles of BRO parked on the edge of the road.
The body of the deceased has been recovered while efforts were afoot to trace the vehicles, Awasthi said.
The Kullu-Manali Highway has been opened for light vehicles while heavy vehicles were being diverted as the road was not safe due to landslides.
“The BRO has been asked to construct a bailey bridge near Palchan and material has been provided to construct the bridge immediately to resume traffic and it is hoped that the road would be through within two three days,” Awasti said.
The other bailey bridge has not affected vehicular movement as a regular new bridge had been constructed close to the old bridge, washed away in floods.
People living along Nehru Kund, Palchan and Bhang villages have been asked to move to safer places and relief operations are in full swing.
The estimated loss caused by damage to roads, bridges and other property was about Rs 8 crore which included loss of Rs 5-7 crore incurred by the BRO and about Rs 2 crore by the state but exact loss was being assessed, Awasti said.
Passengers were stranded at Duad on Chandigarh-Manali national highway for nine hours from 10.30 PM last night due a landslide.
Passengers were also stuck at Hara Bagh and Guma on the Mandi-Pathankot National Highway for more than 11 hours and at Khanag on the Kullu-Ani road.
Traffic on both the highways was restored later in the day.