Dharamshala: Sudden rise in water flows in Neugal Khad because of a could burst in the higher catchment area devastated Saurabh Van Vihar, a water park in Palampur (35 Kms from here) on Sunday night.
The water level in the seasonally fast flowing stream starting increasing after midnight, and it changed course to sweep away Saurabh Van Vihar. The park with an artificial lake had become a popular tourist spot and was constructed after spending crore of rupees.
The Neugal Khud is one of the major tributaries of river Beas. The artificial lake, where recreational boating was done, has been washed out and only boulders and muck cover the area now.
No one was injured as the police and fire department managed to rescue the two security officers at the Vihar (garden) who got trapped in the night. However, a car has swept away in the deluge. The people living in the vicinity have been asked to remain alert. water. Police also rescued about 30 labourers stranded in Miza area.
Having changed course Neugal Khud is now flowing right through what are the remains of Saurabh Van Vihar.
There is nobody living close by the stream in this area, but a small hydropower project has been constructed higher up in the valley. Past midnight as the water level at the project dam site started rising , 5 employees deployed at dam site were immediately brought to a safe place. Dinesh Nag, of Om Prakash Project’s which owns the hydro plant said that a cloud was reported to have burst in the upper reaches at about 7.30 p.m.
DSP Palampur Vikas Dhiman said, “after getting the information of the cloud burst, all those living near the Neugal Khud were alerted.
Saurabh Van Vihar was a nature park built on the foothills of the mighty Dhauladhars in the memory of the Kargil war hero Capt. Saurabh Kalia. Itwas just a few minutes’ drive from the main town. It was a nicely designed nature park with well-defined walking trails. Water for artificial lake was diverted from Neugal Khud.
Question are being raised as to why the threat of floods was not kept in mind while choosing this site for such venture