A search resumed on Monday morning for the engineering students feared drowned after they were swept away by strong waters in river Beas in Himachal Pradesh after authorities of Larji hydelpower project opened the floodgates of the project’s dam, reportedly without warning. A police official said that two bodies have been recovered so far .
Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani expressed her grave concern over the shocking incident, assuring Himachal of all possible assistance from the Centre. Irani has left for the site near Thalot on Manali-Kiratpur Highway, 40 Km from Mandi, where the students are feared to have been washed away.
Irani assured the state Education Ministry, held by Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh,”of all assistance and support required from the Centre”, a statement released by the HRD ministry said.
She also spoke to the faculty of the engineering college in Hyderabad who was accompanying the traveling student group.
Over two dozen B.Tech students from Hyderabad on a trip to Kullu-Manali were feared to have been washed away in a flash flood in the river Beas on Sunday after authorities of Larji hydelpower project opened the floodgates of the project’s dam, reportedly without warning.
Sightseeing trip turns tragic
Students of Vigyan Jyothi Institute of Engineering and Technology, Bachuapalli, located around 20 km from Hyderabad, the 26 had started from Shimla on Sunday morning for Kullu-Manali.
The sightseeing trip to Himachal Pradesh turned tragic for the tourists when the students, including some girls who were taking photographs at the bank of the river, were swept away by gushing waters of Beas as discharge of water suddenly increased following its release from the reservoir of 126 MW Larji hydropower project.
Andhra CM expresses shock and anguish
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu also expressed shock and anguish over the incident. Chandrababu has requested the Himachal Pradesh government to expedite relief and rescue operations, sources have said.
Telangana Home Minister Naini Narsimha Reddy and a police team left for Himachal Pradesh after the reported tragedy in the hill state.
“Telangana DGP Anurag Sharma and Cyberabad Police Commissioner CV Anand are in touch with top police officials of Himachal Pradesh,” Assistant Commissioner of Police (Petbasheerabad Division) M Srinivasa Rao said.
He said that the police team will leave for Kullu on Monday.
Srinivasa Rao spoke to one of the students of the group and quoted him as saying that “the incident occurred as a group of around 25 students, including seven girls, were taking photographs near the river bank when there was a sudden gush of water in which they were feared to have been washed away”.
(With PTI inputs)
Sources said Ashish Khetan will be the vice-chairman of the commission.