Man is social animal and is the guardian of beautiful and the bountiful gifts which he got from the nature. Nature and the mankind are living together from the time immemorial and are catering to one anotherâ€™s need. With the passage of time as the Science and Technology developed the companion of the nature, became more and more luxurious, and started exploiting the natural resources with the speed much faster than what the nature can rejuvenate those resources. As a result nature started expressing its anger what we can call as Bursting into tears. These tears are termed as Disaster in the technical terminology.
As for as Himachal Pradesh is concerned, the pace of development which is taking place in ten or twenty years has disturbed the equilibrium between the nature and its guardian. The green cover of Himachal is felling down quickly due to the development of the technology which has made the difficult areas the access easily. Also the setting up of the large scale industries and the big Hydro Electric Projects have forced the exploitation of the natural resources at the much faster pace than earlier. Also the use of Hydro carbons has resulted in the global warming of the atmosphere consequently the glaciers are retrenching to their minimum and the rain pattern is also changing.
Kullu district is situated in the lap of the western Himalayas. It is bound between 3058o00" North latitude and 7706o04" East longitude. On its north lies the Lahaul and Spiti District, Kangra in the North-east, Kinnaur in the East, Shimla in the Southeast and Mandi in the Southwest.
The district forms a transitional zone between lesser and the greater Himalayas and presents a typical rugged mountainous terrain with moderate to high altitude which various from 1200 meters to over 6000 meters.
The Beas and Satluj are the main rivers of the district. The Beas, which forms the world famous valley of Kullu, rises from the Pir Panjar Ranges near "Rohtang Pass" at a height of over 3900 meters above mean sea level and flows southwards for about 12m Kms. It leaves Kullu at place called Bajaura. Sarwari and Parvati are its main tributaries. The river Beas and its tributaries have lowest level during the winter months of December, January and February and highest level during June, July and August. Occasionally the floods also occur in Kullu and August. The Satluj river on the southern side of the district rises from Mansarover in Tibet and touches the district in Nirmand Tehsil opposite Rampur Tehsil of Shimla District. Mantalai, Khirganga, Brighu, Dashar and Sarelosar lakes are also in this district. Apart from this some very beautiful water falls also form part of this district.
Kullu is spread over an area of 5503 Sq.mtr. It is divided into four Sub Divisions namely Kullu, Manali, Banjar and Anni. The District comprises of six Tehsils/ Sub Tehsils viz, Kullu Manali, Banjar, Sainj Nirmand and Anni and five C.D Blocks i.e Naggar, Kullu, Banjar, Anni and Nirmand. There are three Assembly Constituencies namely Kullu, Banjar and Anni in the District. The entire Kullu district is part of Mandi Parliamentary Constituency. In the Kullu district there are 14 Zila Parishad Members, 76 B.D.C Members and 192 Panchayats in total. There is also one Municipal Council at Kullu consisting of 11 members and 3 Naggar Panchayats namely Manali, Bhuntar and Banjar with seven memberâ€™s each. There are 100 Patwar and 10 Kanungo Circles in District Kullu.
Natural Calamities in the form of could burst and heavy floods have been taking place in district Kullu since 1994 when the cloud burst took place at Shat towards Manikaran side, which caused extensive damage to human lives and property. Though the months of July and August, 1995 also witnessed floods but no substantial damage was caused by these floods. It was in the first week of September, 1995 when the entire State had heavy rains that district Kullu witnessed heavy floods particularly between 2nd to 5th September, 1995. The intensity of floods was very high throughout the district. However, the worst affected part in Kullu Sub Division was from Palchan to Bajaura where the river Beas caused substantial damage to public and private property on its right as well as left bank. The flood was caused mainly due to heavy rains in the higher mountainous region from where the river Beas emerges. During this period the rainfall was estimated to be about 74 Cms. Which was abnormally high, compared to 81 cm. Annual average of 1990-93.
In the early morning on 12/6/2001 and on 9/7/2001 when some villagers were sleeping all of sudden heavy rains/cloud burst occurred in Village Bara Bhuin (Near Bhunter) Gram Panchayat Bara Bhuin Phati Shillihar Tehsil Kullu where heavy loss to private/public property was caused.
On dated 22/7/2001, Manikaran a historical place, popularly known for its not springs was also hit by the flash floods of river Parvati and caused heavy damage to the public property worth Rs. 50,00,000/- . The Manikaran is in Kullu Sub Division. On dated 22.7.2001 in an another incident of flash floods, the Village Seund(Sainj) of Banjar Sub Division witness the havoc of the natural calamity. During the intervening night of 21st and 22nd August, 2001 due to heavy rains and cloudburst the two Villages namely Bhadhali and Sarali of Sub Division Anni also witness the havoc the natural calamity causing huge loss of life and property.
On the intervening night of 15th and 16th July, 2003 a cloud burst incident took place in the higher reaches of Pulia Nalla. The fury of flood caused by this cloud burst brought lots of boulder and trees along with it, which got struck at the bridge over the Pulia Nullah and the water and debris started over following on either side of the bridge. In this incident of cloud burst forest nurseries, inspection path soil conservation works and plantation areas was badly damaged. 23 human lives were lost and 23 persons were injured In an another incident of cloud burst in the catchment area of Bahang Nullah located 5 Km towards Rohtang Pass from Manali, one lonely regular house on the steep slop located about 200 Mts. Above the National Highway in the vicinity of this Nullah was washed away. In this house three families comprising of 11 members were staying. Nine members managed to run away from the house to the safer place but two members one Gorkha family comprising of his wife and his son got entrapped in the debris and died.
Another cloud burst took place on 7/8/2003 in the higher reaches of Kangri Nullah in Solang Nullah near Manali which took death toll of 34 persons.
Every such incident of cloud burst was always attended as promptly by the District Administration. Rescue and relief operation were carried out as per the Himachal Pradesh Emergency Relief Manual which contains all necessary provisions in this respect. It is in this backdrop that the necessity of bringing out a comprehensive and pragmatic Disaster Management Plan for district Kullu was felt so that situation arising out of such calamities could be tackled effectively.