Three youths were killed and about 60 people injured when a 100-kmph storm hit several areas of Punjab,Haryana and Chandigarh last night,disrupting power supply and uprooting more than a hundred trees.
National highways and state highways were blocked by the uprooted trees and commuters were stranded for three to four hours.
Among those killed in the storm was a college student in Chandigarh,officials said. The 21-year-old student,who had come to drop his friend at a private college here,was killed after a wall collapsed,in which his friend also sustained injuries.
A 23-year-old youth of Panchkulas Raipur Rani area died after his motorcycle skidded in Barwala,Haryana. In yet another incident,a 24-year-old standing under a bus shelter in Mohali,Punjab,died when the shelter collapsed under the weight of a tree that fell on it.
According to reports,the storm which lasted for about 40 minutes hit many areas in Punjab and Haryana including Amritsar,Ludhiana,Fatehgarh Sahib,Ambala,Kurukshetra and Karnal.
Around 60 persons sustained injuries in the two states and Chandigarh as trees or broken branches fell on them. The storm,which the local Met office attributed to a western disturbance over the region,led to disruption in power supply.
While power supply was restored in many areas after several hours,at other places where the lines had been snapped or had got entangled in trees,work to restore the supply was still going on,the officials said.
The storm left a trail of destruction as trees and branches were strewn across roads. Traffic flow was affected as uprooted trees and branches caused inconvenience to motorists.
Even as forest department,district administrations and National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) struggled to lift the uprooted trees,owing to the bad weather the work continued till late night. It took us eight hours to reach Jalandhar from Pathankot,while the same distance could be covered in just two and half hours in normal circumstances, said one Sushil Sharma of Jalandhar.
When contacted,District Forest Officer (Territorial),Hoshiarpur,Dev Raj said that lists are being made as some trees are still to be lifted in many areas.
With PTI inputs
The parties concerned have been directed to submit reports on the current status of construction.