Rain damage put at Rs 1000 crore

Human toll 36 dead

Taking stock of the rain damage, the government has said put the loss to infrastructure, crops and private property at about Rs 1000 crore, even though reports about losses from the interiors were still pouring in. The human toll because of the rains has risen to 36 dead.

Talking to the media,Himachal cabinet minister Harsh Mahajan said that the Deputy Commissioners in all districts had been asked to monitor the condition round the clock and disaster control rooms had been opened in all districts. “The government has ordered an release of Rs 40 crore for immediate relief,” he said.

Preliminary reports tabulate the loss in the state at about Rs 1000 crore of which about Rs 353 crore alone was to roads and bridges, he said. There have been extensive reports about damage to standing crops, which on a preliminary basis has been put at about Rs 225 crore, he added

The minister asked the central government to send an immediate fact finding team to assess the damage and appealed for grant of liberal funds to counter the heavy losses incurred.

Giving an account of the human lives lost, the minister informed that 9 people had died in Kangra district, 8 in Mandi, 4 each in Solan and Shimla districts, 3 each in Bilaspur and Kinnaur and 1 each in Una, Sirmaur and Lahaul Spiti districts. So far the government had collected data about collapse of 293 houses and there was partial damage to 295 others.

“Such rains have never been recorded in my lifetime,” said the octogenarian Mahajan. He squarely blamed the Punjab government for neglecting the century old Chakki Bridge, connecting Punjab with Himachal in Una district that collapsed because of flash floods. He asked the railway authorities to monitor mining in the area as the railway bridge in the area was also in danger of breaking down.

Mentioning getting caught up in the traffic jam near Parwanno, on the Shimla-Kalka highway on Monday, he said that though the authorities did their best to restore traffic at the earliest but after the road was cleared, it was a very difficult situation to handle as the vehicular jam was of unmanageable proportions.

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