Shimla: Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, who was stranded in tribal Kinnaur district for nearly 60 hours due to landslides triggered by incessant rains, was evacuated on Tuesday morning even as 1,700 people remained stranded at various places.
A chopper hired by Congress party airlifted the Chief Minister this morning as rains abated and weather cleared this morning and about a dozen persons, including some old and ailing persons were brought to Rampur in the state helicopter, officials said.
Bharat Khera, the secretary (General Administration) coordinating the rescue operations, said that the state chopper has been pressed into service and people stranded at Pooh in the border area and other places are being evacuated.
"We are trying to evacuate the sick and old persons and tourists on priority," he said.
About 1,700 people, including a large number of tourists, were stranded at various places in Kinnaur districts for the past three days and efforts were on to rescue them.
The Hindustan-Tibet National Highway, which has been breached and blocked beyond Tapri at several points due to massive landslides triggered by incessant rains, was unlikely to be opened in the next two three days and Public Works Department and Border Roads Organisation (BRO) men are working overtime to clear the road, said an official of PWD.
Kinnaur district received 204 mm of rains yesterday, which is unprecedented in the history of the tribal district.