31 lives lost; rain damages to roads, bridges in Himachal put at Rs 412 Cr

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Shimla: Taking stock of the recent cloud burst disasters and damages by heavy rains, the state government has put the count of people killed at 31 and assessed the damages to roads and bridges at 412 crore.

Presided over by chief minister Virbhadra Singh, the state level disaster management meeting held today assessed the intense damages to private and public property by the heavy rains.Disaster meet

Besides the human lives lost, it was disclosed that 633 cattle had perished.

In all 336 roads had to be closed to traffic due to rain damages. As many as 187 roads had been opened and work on opening the remaining roads was going on, said a government spokesman.

The chief minister has directed for restoring the bridge on national highway 88 over Kunah rivulet.

“Bailey bridge material stands dispatched; bridges on Seer Khad at Jahu and Baghi Khad Bridge on Prashar road would also be restored on priority,” stated the chief minister.

Discussing the bottle-neck on Shimla-Kinnaur National Highway, the chief minister said that a permanent solution to the landslide zone near Urni would be found.

He said that the practice of sprinkler and Khul irrigation should be discouraged in the fragile zones of the district Kinnaur as this was being seen as a major reason for the landslips

Blasting undertaken by Jaypee to construct tunnels had further damaged the fragile hills of the Kinnaur wherever hydel projects were being set up, said Virbhadra Singh.

As many as 1953 rural water supply schemes were either fully or partially damaged.

A house damaged in Chola Village near Dharamshala - Photo by Cartoonist Arvind

A house damaged in Chola Village near Dharamshala – Photo by Cartoonist Arvind

While the damages due to rains was heavy last year also, but of the Rs 250 crore sanctioned by the central government for natural calamity assistance, till date only rs 95 crore had been released.

Other than the chief minister revenue minister Kaul Singh Thakur, chief secretary P Mittra,  Additional Chief Secretaries VC Pharka and Vineet Chaudhary, DGP Police Shri Sanjay Kumar were present at the high level meeting.

Editor-Reporter with Hill Post, Ravinder Makhaik as a journalist has for over two decades worked for India’s leading newspapers and television networks.

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