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Himachal landslide: Punjab sends rescue team to evacuate pilgrims

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Chandigarh: The Punjab government on Tuesday dispatched a rescue team to help pilgrims stranded in the landslide-hit Sikh shrine of Manikaran Sahib in neighbouring Himachal Pradesh’s Kullu district.

Seven people were killed and 11 injured in the landslide that hit the gurdwara complex on Tuesday. All the victims were from Rogla Tarwa Mandi village in Punjab’s Sangrur district.

Two seriously injured people were referred to the Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) here for treatment.

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Reports reaching the Punjab government here suggested that more people could be trapped due to the landslide.

Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal expressed shock over the tragic incident.

He announced a grant of Rs.1 lakh each to the next of kin of the deceased and Rs.25,000 for the seriously injured. He said the entire expenditure for the treatment of the injured would be borne by the state government.

Badal also spoke to his Himachal Pradesh counterpart Virbhadra Singh on Tuesday evening and assured him of immediate help from his government in rescue operations.

Shiromani Akali Dal president and Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal has directed Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) president Avtar Singh to immediately send a team to assess the damage caused to the gurdwara complex for undertaking repair and reconstruction of the damaged portion expeditiously, a state government spokesman said here.

“The SGPC would also ensure langar (community kitchen) at the shrine for the pilgrims, which has been badly disrupted due to this incident,” the spokesman said.

The special rescue team sent to the shrine is led by Punjab special secretary-revenue Dilraj Singh and Inspector General of Police Gautam Cheema.

The team includes officers of civil and police administration, besides doctors and para-medical staff.

(IANS)

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Visit Himachal Pradesh to Bask in the Warmth of Mellow Sunshine!

Chandigarh's meteorological department said dense to very dense fog would likely to continue at a few places in Punjab and Haryana till Wednesday

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Tirthan Valley in Himachal Pradesh is one of the lesser known travel destinations in india. Wikimedia Commons
Tirthan Valley in Himachal Pradesh is one of the lesser known trekking destinations in India. Wikimedia Commons

The weather is ‘cosy’ these days in hills of Himachal Pradesh compared to the Northern plains where dense fog is screening out the sun.

The hilly state is receiving regular sunshines and for a longer duration.

The weather in picturesque tourist resorts of Shimla, Kufri, Narkanda, Kasauli, Chail, Dharamsala, Palampur and Manali is ‘warm’ and perfect for a break from the biting chill of the plains where the sun has largely been fogged out.

“What a mellow sunshine is in Shimla,” remarked Kriti Aggarwal, a tourist from Delhi.

She said it was a great relief from the prevailing fog that did not allow sun rays to penetrate over ground levels.

Her friend Kanika Gupta added: “For hours, we relaxing and basking under the sun. Even nights are cosy here compared to the plains.”

Manmohan Singh, director of Shimla’s meteorological department, told IANS on Monday that most of the hill destinations have a pleasant weather owing to long sunny days compared to the plains.

“The maximum temperature in the hills is two-three degrees below average but due to prevailing sunny days the temperature will see rise and will be normal in a day or two,” he said.

According to him, dry weather would largely prevail in the state till December 31, ruling out the possibility of snow and rain across the state.

Himachal, the most wanted place to visit for New Year
Himachal, the most wanted place to visit for New Year. Wikimedia Commons

The humidity level over 80 per cent causes fog. In the the hills it’s around 50 per cent currently, compared to 80 per cent in the hills.

In Shimla, located around 7,000 feet above sea level, the maximum temperature on Sunday was 13.8 degrees Celsius, while the minimum was 3.6 degrees on Monday.

The night temperature in Dharamsala was 2.6 degrees Celsius, whereas popular tourist resort Manali saw a low of minus three degrees.

At 14.3 degrees below freezing point, Keylong in Lahaul-Spiti district was the coldest in the state. Kalpa, some 250 km from the state capital, saw a low of minus 2.9 degrees Celsius.

In Chandigarh, the maximum temperature was 0.6 degree Celsius less than Shimla’s on Sunday, with the minimum hovering around 9 degrees Celsius.

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The Met office in Chandigarh predicted foggy conditions to continue in the city till Wednesday.

The prevailing maximum temperature in Chandigarh is six to seven degrees below season’s average due cloudy and shallow fog.

Chandigarh’s meteorological department said dense to very dense fog would likely to continue at a few places in Punjab and Haryana till Wednesday. (IANS)