Centre dispatches 3 teams to Himachal Pradesh to evaluate damages incurred due to floods

18 July, 2023 | Anupam Shrivastava

Himachal Top News

The teams will be visiting Mandi, Kullu, and Rohru areas of Shimla district to further evaluate the losses which are estimated around 4500 crore.

In order to analyse the flood situation to assess the state’s damages, three teams of officials from the central government will visit Himachal Pradesh on Wednesday, according to the state’s revenue minister, Jagat Singh Negi.

Speaking to the Media, Jagat Singh Negi said “Tomorrow three central teams are reaching Chandigarh, they will be visiting Mandi, Kullu and Rohru areas of Shimla district. I want to thank my secretary Revenue and his team who had worked hard in this disaster situation. He will take care and coordinate with the team. So far we have assessed an estimated loss of over 4500 crore. The central teams will evaluate it further. Losses may increase further.”

Negi accused the former Chief Minister of Himachal and Leader of Opposition, Jai Ram Thakur, of attempting to politicize the matter. He emphasized that this is not the appropriate time for such actions and urged everyone to concentrate on the restoration efforts instead.

“I don’t understand what Jai Ram Thakur Ji wants to tell, he has been visiting the state and he is meeting people in his car. He is not even getting down from his car,” he took a jab at the former Chief Minister.

Responding to the allegations made by Jai Ram Thakur, Negi said, “As far as he is talking about the use of rescue helicopters by us, what is wrong in it? If the helicopter had not dropped me and CPS Sanjay Awasthi, we would not have successfully evacuated the tourists safely.”

Situation grim in Himachal, have asked to open roads, need to work collectively: Jagat Singh Negi

Jagat Singh Negi explaining the terrible conditions in his state said, “Even today there was snowfall. Tribal shepherds and locals are still stranded there. Nearly fifty people are there; they are safe and they want the roads to open soon. Today, I have directed ADM Lahaul to open the roads.”

The Himachal Revenue Minister urged the former Chief Minister to collaborate and work collectively. “I want to ask Jai Ram ji, instead of playing politics he should speak to me and inform me about the problems and issues. There is a need to work collectively at this point of time,” he said.

The operation was difficult, Jagat Singh stated who was overseeing the rescue effort to assess the tourists from the Chandra Taal neighbourhood in the Lahaul-Spiti district.

Speaking about the challenges, Negi said, “We were able to evacuate the stranded tourists as the Air Force after airlifting seven people tried another attempt but they failed. They did not want to risk the lives of those to be rescued as it was raining heavily and landing space was not there.”

“Hence it was decided that the helicopter would drop me and CPS Awasthi ji at Losar. From there we were able to reach the spot after clearing fourteen kilometers of road covered in snow. The snow was cleared by one driver overnight. 20 kilometers of snow was cleared. That is how we could bring out the standard tourists,” Negi went on to explain.

In response to Jairam Thakur’s criticism for taking photos there, he replied, “What is wrong if we have clicked pictures there? Those could have been our last pictures. If the rescue helicopters had not dropped us there, those tourists would have been stranded there even now.”

The majority of the roads are in need of repair, as per Himachal Revenue Minister, and the process would take time. He stated that the work is being done on a war footing, and this includes restoring the power, water, and transportation infrastructure.

“As per the latest reports and field assessment, we have seen several long lengths of roads washed away in Manali and Kullu area, we are trying to restore them as soon as possible. It will take time to restore,” he added.

CM Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu has decided to pay additional one lakh rupees: Jagat Singh Negi

Negi said that Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu has chosen to pay an additional one lakh rupees in addition to what had already been allocated according to the NDRF and the State Disaster Manual.

“Our Chief Minister has decided and notified today that one lakh rupees additional will be given to those whose houses have been damaged owing to the rains. This would be in addition to the NDRF and State Disaster Mannual. It is being notified that Rs 50,000 additionally would be given for partially damaged houses and Rs 6000 would be given to those who have lost each of their livestock,” Negi went on to say.

Since the beginning of the monsoon season on June 24 in Himachal Pradesh, rainfall and floods have claimed 122 lives over the course of the last 24 days, according to data from the state Disaster Management Authority.

As of now, 12 individuals remain missing, and 140 others have sustained injuries in Himachal Pradesh. The state has witnessed extensive damage to nearly 500 houses, while 4,643 houses have suffered partial damage. Moreover, 133 shops and 1,008 cow sheds have been adversely affected by the rain and floods. Tragically, over 1,000 livestock have been reported lost. The state has also witnessed 56 instances of landslides and 43 incidents of flash floods, with only one cloudburst incident reported thus far.