Himachal rains toll mounts to 41

Shimla, Aug 12 (IANS) Monsoon rains have so far claimed 41 lives in Himachal Pradesh and the damage to property is estimated at Rs.2,767.48 crore, a government spokesman said here Monday.

More than 4,100 roads in the state have been affected due to rains and floods. The total accumulated loss have been assessed to be Rs.1,218.71 crore.

"Various stretches of national highway-22 from Wangtoo to Sumdho (in Kinnaur district) has been washed out," the spokesperson said.

As many as 3,802 houses and crops worth Rs.200 crore were damaged, he said.

The losses to the horticulture crops were tune to Rs.323 crore, he said.

According to the Met office here, the monsoon, which were normal in June and deficient in July, was vigorously active in August.

The monsoon, which hit the state June 15, was at a deficit of 29 percent in July while the state got 143 percent excess rains in June, the highest in 10 years, Met officials said.

The reservoir of the Pong dam on the Beas river was filled to capacity. Its floodgates were opened a number of times to release extra flows, resulting in flood-like situation downstream.

Traffic on all the major roads in the interiors of Shimla, Kinnaur, Chamba, Kullu, Mandi and Sirmaur districts remained disrupted due to landslips since the onset of monsoon.

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