A nearly 157 per cent surge in rainfall over the past few days has resulted in extensive damage across Himachal Pradesh, Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu said on Tuesday.
The death toll due to the rain rose to 56 after one more body was pulled out of the rubble of a collapsed Shiva temple in Shimla while two people died in a fresh landslide in the city, officials said.
Heavy rain has battered Himachal Pradesh since Sunday, triggering landslides and cloudbursts that blocked several roads and led to house collapse incidents.
Sukhu chaired a meeting to review the prevailing situation in the state and emphasised that the Himachal government is fully committed to expediting restoration efforts on a priority basis.
He also directed the officials to swiftly restore electricity and water supply schemes that have been affected by the torrential rain over the past few days, according to a statement issued.
The downpour led to more than 500 trees being uprooted in Shimla's urban areas, posing challenges for locals. To alleviate these concerns, Sukhu directed the forest department to swiftly and properly dispose of the trees.
Adequate manpower should be deployed to ensure efficient execution of the task, he said.
The chief minister stressed the reinforcement of drainage systems and the restoration of old drains in Shimla. He also ordered a detailed project report to be compiled on the proposal.
A high-powered committee from the public works department will oversee drainage and cross-drainage inspections, he said.
Recognising the importance of addressing waste management, Sukhu underlined the necessity of proper muck disposal in the state's urban areas.
He also directed the officials to prepare plans for comprehensive structural engineering initiatives, calling for a holistic approach to future construction projects.