Uttarakhand: Incessant rain paralyses daily life in Kumaon; Char Dham Yatra resumes

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SDRF personnel rescue people from a flood affected area in Champawat district and excavator machine removing boulders from Badrinath National Highway

SDRF personnel rescued people from a flood-affected area in Champawat district and an excavator machine removing boulders from Badrinath National Highway

Dehradun: Incessant rain continued to lash several parts of Uttarakhand on Monday, flooding rivers in the Kumaon region, blocking hundreds of rural motorable roads and leaving several villages in Champawat and Udham Singh Nagar districts heavily waterlogged.

However, the Char Dham Yatra resumed on Monday after remaining suspended for a day in view of the Met office's prediction of heavy rain following an improvement in the weather in the Garhwal region, Additional Commissioner (Garhwal) Narendra Singh Quiriyal said.

The Kali, Gori and Saryu rivers in Pithoragarh, which received 125.50 mm rainfall, were flowing close to the danger mark while more than 200 rural motorable roads across the state were blocked by debris from landslides, the State Emergency Operation Centre in Dehradun said.

Heavy waterlogging in the Purnagiri division of Champawat district, besides Khatima and Sitarganj in Udham Singh Nagar district, prompted police, National Disaster Response Force and State Disaster Response Force personnel to relocate nearly 200 families to safety.

They have taken shelter in hotels, wedding halls and their relatives' places.

Contiunous rain in Pithoragarh district, where Tejam village in the Munsiyari subdivision recorded the maximum 200 mm rainfall, paralysed daily life.

The all-weather road from Tanakpur to Pithoragarh, considered the lifeline of both Pithoagarh and Champawat districts, has been closed several times over the past four days due to heavy rain.

"Over 28 roads, including six border roads and 21 village roads, have been closed following rain in Pithoragarh district. Efforts are underway to open the roads but the continuing rain is a hindrance," the district's Disaster Management Officer BS Mahar said.

It will not take more than a day to reopen the roads but the rain will have to stop for that, he said, quoting Border Roads Organisation officials.

"Residents of Tejam village were cut off after the lone bridge linking it with the rest of the state was washed away by heavy rain. However, essential supplies have been distributed to them by the administration, using an alternative approach road," Mahar said.

The border road in Vyas valley has also been closed for several days, causing inconvenience to security forces and villagers, he said.

Rivers and rivulets near Haldwani in Nainital district are in spate, with rising water level of the Gola beginning to erode land near the international stadium.

Dehradun, where it has been raining intermittently over the past few days, was also lashed by heavy rain on Monday afternoon.

Heavy waterlogging was also reported from Kotdwar in Pauri district.