Rains subside in Himachal, road traffic restored (Lead)

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Shimla : With rains subsiding in Himachal Pradesh on Tuesday, authorities managed to restore traffic on almost all major roads, including Chandigarh-Shimla, Chamba-Pathankot and Chandigarh-Manali National Highways, an official said.

This comes a day after downpour and flashfloods left a trail of destruction, besides 16 deaths. On Monday, hundreds of people were stranded as incessant rains triggered landslides to snap 923 road links.

Police was deployed in strength between Parwanoo and Solan towns on the Chandigarh-Shimla route to regulate traffic.

Services on the Kalka-Shimla rail line -- a world heritage site -- was also restored after landslips that slid on to the track were cleared.

However, as a precautionary measure, all schools and educational institutes in the state remained closed on the second day on Tuesday.

The water level in the Beas river had risen dramatically on Monday, touching the Chandigarh-Manali National Highway 21 near the Hanogi temple.

"The forecast for the next three days is light to moderate rain is very likely to occur at a few places over middle and low hills and at isolated places in the higher reaches in Himachal," regional Meteorological Office Director Manmohan Singh told IANS.

He said that there are chances of rains and thundershowers at many places in mid-hills like Shimla, Narkanda, Kufri, Kasauli, Manali and Dalhosuie on August 18-19.

Mandi town had the highest rainfall in the state at 127 mm, with Shimla recording 35 mm, Nahan town 42.8 mm and Solan town 34.4 mm.

A government spokesperson said the Sutlej, Beas and Yamuna rivers and their tributaries have been in spate in Kinnaur, Shimla, Kullu, Mandi, Bilaspur and Sirmaur districts.

"We have advised people settled along the banks to move to safer places," an official said here.

Authorities said excess water was released from the Pandoh diversion dam, located 112 km upstream of Pong dam, as a precautionary measure.

The diversion dam on the Beas river in Mandi district releases excess water either in the Pong dam or the Satluj river that feeds the Gobind Sagar reservoir of the Bhakra dam.