Raid-de-Himalaya facing rough weather

Shimla: After skipping the Leh leg of the rally, the organisers and participants of 12th Maruti Suzuki Raid-De-Himalaya 2010 were worried over the route of the rally which had been badly damaged due to heavy rains and landslides.

The eight day long rally which would the flagged off from here on October 9 by Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal would conclude at Manali on October 16, coinciding with historic Kullu Dussehra.

Monsoon rains had left behind a trail of destruction on the plain rally routes also and the first competitive leg from Nalagarh along Sirsa river bed had been cancelled due to excessive discharge of water.

With almost all of the competitive stages on day one and day two blocked by landslides, the organising club Himalayan Motorsport Association is trying to get them cleared on war footing.

The reconnaissance teams had reported widespread damage to the rally stages especially in Solan and Shimla districts while the competitive stage from Mallah near Pinjore to Naina Tikker was not accessible because of overflowing Ghaggar.

The swollen Giri River had led to cancellation stage from Naina-Balag to Cheog and there was every likelihood that the competitive stages might be further truncated.

However, a spokesman of the Himalayan Motorsport Association said the present scenario would pose greater challenge for the competitors and their driving skills would be tested better.

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