Rains, Calamities Claimed 31 Lives During Monsoon in HP

Heavy rains, flash floods and landslides wreaked havoc in the most parts of Himachal Pradesh which claimed lives of 31 persons and at least 633 cattle during the current monsoon season, Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh said today.

The Chief Minister, who assessed the loss and damage at the State Level Disaster Management Authority meeting here said the government has restored most of the damaged roads and drinking water supply schemes.

The total loss of damaged roads and bridges was assessed around Rs 412 crore, he said.

Singh said though the monsoon rains have been 30 per cent less than the normal, yet the incessant rains have caused intensive damage to both the public and private properties in the state.

The roads and drinking water schemes suffered maximum damage and the officials concerned have been directed to restore all the roads by August 22 and also reconstruct the Bailey Bridge on National Highway 88 over Kunah rivulet and at Jahu over sheer Khud, he said.

Out of 336 roads closed during the prevailing monsoon till August 16, as many as 187 roads have been opened and 132 roads were likely to be opened by today itself, the Chief Minister said.

He stressed on restoring roads in far-flung and tribal areas of the state before the ensuing apple season so that the apple-produce reaches the markets well in time.

The Chief Minister asserted that a permanent solution should be found to restore the landslide zone near Urni.

The IPH department has been made interim allocation of Rs four crore besides 22.36 crore had been allocated to the PWD for immediate restoration of roads.

It was also agreed to provide Rs two crore to HPSEB Ltd for restoration work.

The Chief Minister said that he had personally written to the Centre for releasing the remaining funds sanctioned after disaster in last financial year.

He said around Rs 252 crore was sanctioned and the state government had received around Rs 95 crore till date.

He said that the Centre has agreed for releasing the remaining fund soon to carry out re-habilitation works.

Meanwhile, the weather remained mainly dry in the region today and maximum day temperatures rose marginally.

Emerging story. Watch this space for updates as more details come in
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