Manali: Two persons were feared to have been drowned as a makeshift footbridge over a fast flowing stream to Solang village collapsed earlier in the day today. The bridge was constructed by the villagers for crossing the stream.
The stream was in full flow, when suddenly the bridge gave way and two persons attempting to cross it were washed away. Eyewitnesses said two other persons had a narrow escape.
Kullu SP Gurdev Sharma said Krishan Kumar (13) of Goshal village and Rahul (14) of Haripur village in Manali valley were washed away. These teenagers were accompanying the local deity and were coming from Solang village to Manali when the accident happened.
A search operation was immediately done but the missing persons have not been traced so far, said Sharma.
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As heavy rains continue to pound the Kullu-Manali valley and River Beas and the feeding stream being in spate, the local administration has asked all persons residing along the Volvo bus-stand and the river in the vicinity of Bahang to vacate their houses / business premise immediately.
Jaswant, a resident of Solang village lamented, “for the last 7 years work on constructing a concrete bridge over Solang Nullah has been progressing at a snail’s pace.” The CM had laid the foundation stone of a bridge in May 2015, he added.
The local Public Works Department (PWD) said that the construction work had been delayed by the contractor and a penalty had been imposed on hime. Delay in construction of the bridge had increased the hardships of the Solang Village residents.
Sanjay Dutta, an engineer by qualification but is a journalist by choice.
He has worked for the premier new agency Press Trust of India and leading English daily Indian Express.
With more than a decade of experience, he has been highlighting issues related to environment, tourism and other aspects affecting mountain ecology.
Sanjay Dutta lives in a village close to Manali in Kullu valley of Himachal.