CM Sukhu Meets Union Home Minister, Urges Immediate Relief Of Rs 2,000 Crore For Flood-Hit State

The chief minister also met Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh to discuss development projects in the state.

Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu

Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu Thursday urged Union Home Minister Amit Shah to grant an immediate aid of Rs 2,000 crore for carrying out relief and restoration works in the flood-hit parts of Himachal Pradesh.

Sukhu, who met Shah in New Delhi, apprised him of the massive damage incurred by the state due to incessant rains, cloudbursts and flash floods in the ongoing monsoon season, a statement issued here said. 

The chief minister also met Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh to discuss development projects in the state.

He thanked the home minister for sending the Central Committee to assess the flood damages in the state and urged him to release disaster funds at the earliest possible as per the recommendations of the Central Committee.

The chief minister also told Shah that about one to two years will be required to rebuild the damaged infrastructure.

Sukhu, however, told the home minister that the relief aid received so far is meagre as the hill state has suffered estimated losses of about Rs 8,000 crore this monsoon.

The disaster relief fund received for the current financial year has been released to the departments concerned and Deputy Commissioners for distribution to affected people, Sukhu said.

A total of Rs 315 crore pending from 2019 to 2021 under the National and State Disaster Relief Fund would be released soon, he added.

After listening to the chief minister, Shah assured him of all possible assistance, the statement said.

Later, Sukhu met the finance minister and thanked her for the Special Central Assistance of Rs 830 crore. He requested her for additional assistance so that the pace of asset creation and restoration in the state can be accelerated.

Till Wednesday, rain-related incidents like flash floods, cloud bursts and landslides and road accidents have claimed 197 lives in Himachal Pradesh while 31 are missing since the onset of monsoon on June 24, according to the state emergency operation centre.  

During his meeting with the defence minister, the chief minister urged him to construct an airstrip at Rangrik in Spiti Valley, while pointing out its strategic importance as the proposed location is situated at an aerial distance of around 50 km from the country's International border with Tibet. 

Pressing the demand for the airstrip, Sukhu said the National Highway (NH) 505 is the only means of transport connecting Spiti to the rest of the state.

He also requested Singh to strengthen the road infrastructure of the national highways maintained by the Border Road Organisation, besides constructing new roads for connecting villages adjoining border areas, the statement added.

-With PTI Input