Nainital tourists venture out, respite from rain after two days

By: |
October 20, 2021 4:03 PM

Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami undertook a tour of the affected areas including Khatima, Almora and Champawat by road after his helicopter could not take off from Haldwani due to technical reasons.

The Haldwani and Kaladhungi roads have been opened partially to traffic restoring connectivity to Nainital

Tourist town Nainital was returning back to normalcy on Wednesday after being battered by rains which cut off the place from the rest of Uttarakhand, inundated its roads and kept visitors confined to their hotel rooms.

The Kumaon region, under which Nainital falls, has been the worst hit by the rains which began Sunday night, killing at least 46 people in the state as houses collapsed and bridges were washed away by swollen rivers.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah was scheduled to visit the state capital Dehradun on Wednesday evening to take stock of the situation.

A furious Gaula river has damaged the tracks at Kathgodam railway station in Nainital, which experienced a record 445 mm rainfall on Tuesday. The district accounts for 29 of the deaths so far.

The damaged tracks in Kathgodam may take four or five days to be repaired, DGP Ashok Kumar told PTI.

In Nainital, tourists woke up to a bright morning without a trace of rain on Wednesday and were out on the streets for shopping and sightseeing. Taxis had begun running through the town.

“It was suffocating to be locked up inside our hotel rooms due to the incessant rains on Tuesday,” a young tourist from Uttar Pradesh said.

He added that the scenic beauty of the place had made up for what they had suffered over the last two days.

By Wednesday morning, Most of the water had receded from the roads in Nainital, where movement had become nearly impossible after a the Naini lake overflowed.

Electricity supply and telephone connectivity that were badly hit by the rains have been restored in the town. But villages on the outskirts remain affected, officials said.

The rescue and restoration work was likely to pick up during the day with the improvement in the weather, Nainital District Magistrate Dhiraj Garbiyal said.

The Haldwani and Kaladhungi roads have been opened partially to traffic restoring connectivity to Nainital, which remained cut off on Monday and for the most part of Tuesday.

The Haldwani-Nainital national highway is open for light vehicles only because of landslide prone zones at some spots. The Haldwani-Bhimtal road is now open for light and heavy vehicles.

The Bhowali-Ramgarh-Dhanachuli road is open for traffic till Ramgarh.

The Nainital-Kaladungi road is open for light vehicles. The Nainital-Bhowali road is still closed due to the landslide-prone zones detected in Jhakoli-Pines-Kailakhan section, officials said.

Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami undertook a tour of the affected areas including Khatima, Almora and Champawat by road after his helicopter could not take off from Haldwani due to technical reasons.

He said 46 people have been killed in rain-related incidents in the state and 11 are still missing. Forty-three of them died in Kumaon and three in Garhwal region.

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