Himachal Pradesh minister Vikramaditya Singh on Thursday suggested that the Centre was not declaring the disaster caused by the recent heavy rainfall as a national calamity because the Congress is in power in the state.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has repeatedly called Himachal his second home but is dithering over the decision despite the fact that 350 people lost their lives, 4,000-5,000 houses were damaged and loss to infrastructure was around Rs 10,000 crore, Singh said.
"Is the reason for not declaring a national calamity in Himachal that there is a Congress government in the state," the public works minister asked.
The state suffered an additional loss of Rs 10,000 crore as economic activity was hampered which hit revenue collections, he told the media persons here.
The Centre declared national calamities in Kedarnath, Uttarakhand, and Bhuj, Gujarat, but no such declaration has been made for Himachal Pradesh, Singh said, adding that the state suffered a colossal loss and is awaiting adequate financial help from the Centre.
Meanwhile, concerned over landslides even after respite from heavy rains, Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu on Thursday stopped constructions, excavation of land and axing of trees in Shimla after a meeting with officials.
"Our focus is on the transportation of apples and other fruits to markets. Opening the roads is our priority," he told media persons here.
"We are deliberating on construction techniques in Shimla soft strata, hard strata and the number of storeys and structural safety," Sukhu said, adding that no such policy was formulated during the past 40 years and the government would make necessary amendments.
The state government is trying to help the people whose houses and lands have been wiped out and is waiting for special financial help from the Centre or a declaration of national calamity, the chief minister said.
Vikramaditya Singh also referred to the reduction in domestic LPG cylinder prices by Rs 200, saying many such announcements would come in the run-up to the Lok Sabha polls next year.
-With PTI Input