Shimla: Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Sukhu on Monday said that torrential monsoon rains have claimed 17 lives in the state and the damage to property is estimated at over Rs 3,000 crore.
He said that around 300 tourists and locals have stranded in Lahaul-Spiti and Kullu districts.
Presiding over a virtual review meeting of the State Disaster Management Authority, the Chief Minister said that the nature’s fury has caused extensive damage to roads, power transformers, electric sub-stations and numerous water supply schemes and thrown life out of gear in various parts of the state.
As per an initial estimate, the loss is ranging from Rs 3,000 crore to Rs 4000 crore. To accurately evaluate the damage, the Chief Minister directed the committee headed by Revenue Minister Jagat Singh Negi to convene a meeting soon.
He also directed all Deputy Commissioners to remain vigilant for the next 10 days and provide all possible assistance to the affected people.
Expressing sorrow over the loss of lives and property caused by the landslides and flashfloods, the Chief Minister assured the government is making all-out efforts to tackle the situation efficiently.
He said prompt rescue operations were launched in the affected areas and many precious lives had been saved. He asked the district authorities to involve representatives from Panchayati Raj Institutions and local residents to undertake relief and rescue operations.
He instructed immediate restoration of electricity and water supply in affected areas so that people do not face inconveniences.
He also directed for construction of Bailey bridges to replace the damaged ones in order to facilitate the stranded people.
Sukhu said efforts were underway to evacuate around 300 stranded tourists and residents in Lahaul-Spiti and Kullu districts by using helicopters once the weather permits.
He directed to make adequate arrangements for accommodation, food, and essential items for the people stranded besides preparing a state-wise list of stranded tourists.
With the apple season approaching, the Chief Minister emphasised the restoration of roads in apple-growing regions at the earliest to ensure smooth transportation of crops.
He asked to keep the Parwanoo-Rohru, Theog to Rampur, Chhaila to Kumarhatti roads and other apple belt roads open and deploy additional men and machinery to clear the debris to ensure smooth transportation of apple-laden vehicles.
He directed to allocate Rs 4 crore for improvements of roads in these areas.
The Shrikhand Mahadev Yatra has been directed to halt for the rest of the season with six deaths reported during the pilgrimage.