Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu on Sunday sought a special relief package from the Centre, saying that the current relief manual of the Union government's financial provisions is inadequate to compensate the losses caused by heavy rains in the state.
During a meeting with BJP president J P Nadda and Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur here, Sukhu appealed for financial aid akin to that provided during the Kedarnath and Bhuj tragedies to aid the recovery efforts in Himachal considering the state's geographical conditions, an official statement said.
The CM underlined the severity of the situation and said that the landslides and flashfloods have caused extensive damage to public and private properties.
He also said that by August 10, the state government has raised claims worth Rs 6,700 crore by sending a detailed report of the damages in the state to the central government.
He said that the existing relief manual of the Centre's financial provisions are inadequate to compensate the losses of Himachal Pradesh and called for a specially tailored relief package.
At the meeting, Sukhu also took up the issue of delayed release of the first instalment of interim relief from the Union government and pleaded to expedite the process of providing financial assistance, claiming that the disaster had resulted in losses of over Rs 10,000 crore, the statement said.
The chief minister said that despite assessment teams being sent by the central government, the interim relief was still pending. He said that the state government had been utilizing its limited resources to support the impacted population and so far Rs 1,800-2,000 crore has been spent for relief and restoration works by the state government.
According to the statement, the allocation of Rs 360 crore annually under the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) in two instalments has been released by the Union government.
Sukhu further said that the release of Rs 189 crore, out of the held-up fund of Rs 315 crore, has been made by the Centre due to state government's efforts in addressing audit objections.
The chief minister called for the prompt disbursement of the remaining Rs 126 crore.
Nadda expressed the Centre's commitment to offering substantial assistance to Himachal Pradesh in view of the unprecedented loss. He assured that efforts would be directed towards securing the earliest release of the interim relief's first instalment, the statement said.
The BJP chief also emphasized Prime Minister Narendra Modi's pledge of unwavering support to the state during these challenging times.
-With PTI Input