To take stock of the situation arising due to the incessant rains and landslides, wreaking havoc in the State, Chief Minister Thakur Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu today presides over a review meeting of the State Disaster Management Authority, (SDMA).
He said that nature’s fury has tragically claimed the lives of 17 persons besides causing extensive damage to the roads, power transformers, electric sub-stations, and numerous water supply schemes by throwing normal life out of gear in various parts of the State and an initial estimate of loss ranging from Rs 3000 crore to Rs. 4000 crore.
To accurately evaluate the damages caused, the Chief Minister directed the committee headed by Revenue Minister Jagat Singh Negi to convene a meeting soon.
He also directed all the Deputy Commissioners to remain vigilant for the next 10 days and provide all possible assistance to the affected persons.
Expressing deep sorrow over the loss of lives and property caused by the landslides and flash floods, the Chief Minister assured that the State Government is making all-out efforts to tackle this situation efficiently.
He said that prompt rescue operations were launched in the affected areas and many precious lives had been saved by taking in-time action.
He asked the district authorities to involve representatives from Panchayati Raj Institutions and local residents to undertake relief and rescue operations and instructed immediate restoration of electricity and water supply in affected areas so that people do not face many inconveniences.
He also directed for construction of Bailey Bridges to replace the damaged ones, in order to facilitate the stranded people.
Mr Sukhu said that 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.
He said that the torrential rains has caused huge losses in the State and caused much damage to life and property during the last few days.
Instructing Deputy Commissioners to expedite relief work, Sh. Sukhu assured that the State Government will ensure sufficient funds available for assisting the affected people. He said that he would likely visit the affected areas soon to have on the spot assessment.
With the apple season approaching, the Chief Minister emphasized the restoration of roads in apple-growing regions at the earliest to ensure smooth transportation of apple crops thereby preventing losses to the apple growers.
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 rupees four crore for immediate improvements of roads in these areas.
Meanwhile state Congress president Pratibha Singh appealed the well off and party workers to come forward in rescue and relief operations and donate generously. She expressed shock on the natural calamities and urged the government to reach out to the affected people and provide financial assistance to those who lost their family members and suffer damage to property.