Flash floods and landslides triggered due to the excessive rainfall in Himachal Pradesh in the last three days have left a devastating impact on the state with a preliminary analysis of the agriculture department projecting a loss of over 83 crores to the crops across the state. Agriculture and Animal Husbandry Minister, Chander Kumar said that the havoc caused throughout the state is unprecedented, therefore, the center should declare the flood situation in Himachal as a national calamity and release a special economic package for rescue and relief activities.
In a meeting held here today, Chander Kumar stated that as per the preliminary reports out of the total affected agriculture area of 28,495 hectares, vegetable produce under a total of 6,978 hectares in the state suffered a loss of over 40 crores. Maize, Paddy, Ragi, Millets, and Kharif Pulses suffered a loss of around 17 crores in 21,517 hectares. Further, the damage to crops due to inundated land under farming was estimated to be over 26 crores, the Minister added. He said that the maximum loss was observed in Mandi district accounting to 23.38 crore, followed by 17.63 crore in Shimla, 13.29 crore in Sirmaur, 8.16 crore in Solan, 5.74 crore in Lahaul Spiti, 4.38 crore in Kullu, 3.99 crore in Kangra, 2.99 crore in Una, 1.53 crore in Chamba, 1.01 crore in Bilaspur, 59 lakh in Kinnaur and 29 lakh in Hamirpur.
While laying emphasis on the need of promoting soil conservation to deal with a similar situation in the future, the Minister said that the techniques and ways of soil conservation would be promoted throughout the state. The Minister stated that in the Shahpur constituency of Kangra district, due to the proper channelization and diversion of the Gaj Khad, and adoption of soil conservation by the residents of Rajol, Awadi, Ansui, and Deg villages, the loss due to the recent downpour of rains was minimized.
Prof. Chander Kumar further stated that deputy directors of the agriculture and animal husbandry departments have been directed to prepare the final report regarding the loss of agriculture and livestock.
Shahpur MLA Kewal Singh Pathania, Director of Agriculture, Dr. Rajesh Kaushik, and other senior officials were present in the meeting.