Early warning system sought in floodplains of Kullu and Mandi : The Tribune India

Tribune press service

Dipender Manta

Mandi, July 7

After a downpour wreaked havoc in Choj village in Kullu district yesterday in the early hours of the morning, villagers today demanded the installation of early warning systems in flood-prone areas of the districts of Kullu and Mandi.

Villagers said the government needs to acquire the latest technology to provide pre-disaster warnings to people living near rivers and nullahs in these districts. The use of technology in Kullu district would play a crucial role in avoiding human tragedies.

Remove the mud deposited in nullah: villagers

Due to a flash flood in a nearby nullah of Choj village, mud was deposited in the water channel. If the water level in the nullah rises, mud can flow towards the village at any time. Thus, the mud must be removed to avoid a disaster. — Rajesh Kumar, resident of Choj village

Ramesh Kumar, deputy pradhan of Choj gram panchayat, said timely information received by villagers about the downpour near Choj village averted a major tragedy. As soon as people received information about the waterspout, they ran out of their homes to a safe place. Otherwise, further casualties could have occurred.

“In Lahaul and Spiti, the district administration has set up eight Automated Weather Stations (AWS) to provide pre-disaster alerts to residents. There is an urgent need to set up such weather stations in the flood prone areas of Kullu district to provide warnings before the disaster. We urge the state government to do the necessary,” he said.

Another resident, Rajesh Kumar, said, “Due to a flash flood in a nearby nullah of Choj village, mud got deposited in the water channel. Rising water levels could divert this mud to the village at any time. So the mud must be removed to avoid a catastrophe”.

“Residential buildings should not be allowed to be erected near riverbanks, whether on private or public land. These buildings close to the banks are vulnerable to damage in the event of flash floods,” he added.

Education Minister Govind Singh Thakur said, “Government will take necessary steps to put in place pre-disaster warning systems in Kullu district.”

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