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NDRF team rescues 5 forest officials stuck in Himachal reservoir due to snag in motorboat

NDRF personnel engaged in rescuing the people trapped in a boat in reservoir.

In a daring mission, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams rescued 10 people, five of them forest department officials, who got trapped in the Kol Dam reservoir due to the sudden rise in the water level and strong currents following massive rains on Sunday.

State’s Additional Director General of police (Law and order) Abhishek Trivedi said the rescue operation ended at 3 am on Monday morning and all the persons were safely rescued by the NDRF.

“The forest officials had entered the reservoir in the boat to take stock of the timber that flash floods had brought up to the reservoir area. They apparently had reports about some people trying to smuggle the forest property,” said Trivedi.

However, due to the sudden rise in the water level their motorboat was unable to negotiate the strong water currents and also developed some snag making it impossible for the team to return to the shore.

The team’s struggle to drive the boat through the deep water failed as it also got stuck in debris and wood logs floating in the sea of water putting their lives in grave danger.

“It was really an act of unwavering bravery , National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) went into action undeterred by the darkness of the night. Almost five to six hours of action saved the lives of all the 10 persons” said a senior official of the state Disaster Management Authority.

The Kol Dam, a 800 mw hydel project on Sutlej river on the district boundaries of Bilaspur and Mandi near Barmana was commissioned in 2015 by National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC).

Meanwhile, Himachal Pradesh continues to remain on high alert as the MeT office has issued an Orange alert for the state over the next couple of days.

The orange alert is issued as a warning of “extremely bad” weather with the potential of disruption in commute with road and rail closures, and interruption of power supply.

Till now, 373 lives have been lost because of torrential rains, flash floods ,cloud bursts and landslides in the state which has also left hundreds of families homeless.

The state government has projected a loss to public and private property of up to Rs 10,000 crore till August 15 and has asked the centre to provide an interim relief package on the lines of Uttarakhand and Bhuj tragedies.