[lang_en]Evacuation efforts for stranded people in cold desert of Himachal: CM [/lang_en]

Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister, Prof. Prem Kumar Dhumal, said that warfoot efforts to evacuate stranded people at Sarchu and Chhatru areas of Lahaul valley are being made. He directed the authorities to open the roads and if necessary call for the helicopter services for evacuation.

He said that the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) authorities assisted by PWD were working overtime to open the road through Baralacha pass to Sarchu so that the stranded people were evacuated by road.

He added that essential commodities like medicines, food and blankets have been air-dropped yesterday in these areas by the Indian Air Force and more flights were being carried today to carry the operation further.

Official sources said, about 400 people were stuck at various locations along the 475 kilometer long Manali-Leh highway due to landslides.

With blockades having rendered most rural roads unusable, 282 buses of state owned Himachal Roadways (HRTC) were stranded in different part of the state, of which 180 alone were in Shimla district, a spokesman for HRTC disclosed.[/lang_en]

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