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Water shortage, monsoon woes kept Himachal Pradesh in news in 2018

The monsoon brought its own problems with the state reporting 343 deaths due to flash floods, landslides, cloudbursts and weather-related road accidents

Press Trust of India  |  Shimla 

Shimla,Water crisis.protests
Locals protest against water shortage.| Photo :PTI

Last summer some residents went on telling tourists to keep off. An acute had hit the capital, and the massive influx of tourists around that time of the year was only making things worse.

But the monsoon brought its own problems with the state reporting 343 deaths due to floods, landslides, cloudbursts and weather-related road accidents.

The year also saw an anti-encroachment drive going off script when hoteliers resisting it turned violent, killing two members of the team. Former found himself in trouble in a case related to disproportionate assets. A plot of land allotted to Yoga guru Ramdev's Patanjali triggered a row. An plane crashed in Kangra, killing its pilot.

The water scarcity in led to the high court stepping in. It ordered that the VIPs, including the judges themselves, will not get preferential treatment in the allocation of the precious commodity.

The crisis also forced the to postpone the prestigious Summer Festival, held from June 1 to 5 every year to attract tourists. Some hotels even encouraged their clients to cancel their bookings. In the middle of the crisis, Shimla went to on an official tour, inviting flak from the opposition.

Virbhadra Singh's legal problems worsened when a special ordered the framing of charges against him and his wife for allegedly amassing disproportionate assets of over Rs 100 million.

But another former CM got relief from the courts.

The quashed a FIR against BJP P K Dhumal and his MP-son for alleged irregularities in granting land on lease for the construction of a cricket stadium in Dharamshala. That was when Dhumal was in power. The FIR was lodged when Virbhadra Singh's government took over.

There was a row over another piece of land in 2018.

The state cabinet decided to lease out 28 acres of land in district to Yoga guru Ramdev's at a concessional rate of Rs 23.9 million. The accused the of doing a favour for supporting the BJP in last

But the court verdict that caught the public imagination was the death penalty for the murder of a four-year-old child. A awarded the maximum sentence to three men who had allegedly kidnapped Yug for ransom, brutally killed him and then dumped his body in a municipal water tank.

was shot dead by a hotelier when she was leading a Supreme Court-mandated demolition drive against illegal construction in Kasauli. A few days later a public works department employee Gulab Singh, who was part of the same drive, also succumbed to his injuries.

The apex court pulled up the for not providing adequate security for the team razing illegal structures.

The ruling BJP ended 2018 with a celebration earlier this month.

addressed a public meeting in Dharamshala to mark one year of the in The opposition observed it as Nikamma Divas, highlighting what it called were the government's failures.

First Published: Sun, December 30 2018. 11:50 IST
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