Rs.110 crores released to restore the link roads in apple belts of the State: Sukhu

Chief Minister, Thakur Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu, who is on a two days visit of Shimla district, to have on the spot assessment of losses caused by torrential rains visited the Chopal assembly constituency today. He said that the State Government would provide all possible assistance to the affected families. He directed the district administration and the local officers to provide immediate assistance to the families affected and directed the public works department to float short term tenders immediately for restoration of roads so that the farmers may not face any hindrance to transport their produce to the markets. He said that it was being considered to increase the rate of scald apples, to further benefit the apple growers. 

The Chief Minister said that Rs. 70 crore would be spent for the strengthening of Chhaila-Yashwant Nagar road which is lifeline of the people of the area and an alternative route towards Solan and Chandigarh.

The Chief Minister asked the officers at Chopal to expedite the repair and restoration works of roads and directed to provide compensation of rupees one lakh each to the affected families immediately. He further directed to release Rs. 2 Crore for the restoring road connectivity for Chopal Division and Rs. 50 lakh for the Sainj Sub Division of Theog, while Rs. 1.50 crore has been allocated already.

Sh. Sukhu said that the State Government was consistently working to restore the road connectivity in the apple belts and has released Rs. 110 crore to restore the link roads in the apple growing regions of the State. He said link roads have been washed out at many places due to natural calamity and it would take significant time to restore them and urged the people to cooperate in this hour of need. He appealed to the people to join hands with the government help in constructing temporary roads to facilitate the commuting of vehicles ferrying the apple produce and the State Government will suitably compensate them.  

He directed to shift the Kudi village in Chopal Assembly segment and identify the suitable land for its rehabilitation, which has been sinking due to heavy rains the area witnessed recently. The State Government would also provide financial assistance to rebuild their houses, he remarked.

Industries Minister Harshwardhan Chauhan and Education Minister Rohit Thakur have been constantly visiting the affected areas in Shimla district and were updating me regularly, said he.   

In the recent devastation, Himachal Pradesh has suffered losses to a tune of approximately Rs. 8000 crore. The Chief Minister said that the calamity has caused enormous damage in all the regions of the State and it was the biggest catastrophe witnessed in last 50 years. Though the State Government has inherited huge debt from the previous BJP Government, yet, it will not allow any shortage of funds to help the families which suffered losses due to nature’s fury, said the Chief Minister. He said that funds would be made available to install retaining walls to stabilize the roads permanently.

The Chief Minister informed that 300 houses were partially or completely damaged in Chopal area. He directed the administration to provide immediate relief of rupees one lakh each for partially damaged houses. The Deputy Commissioner was instructed to provide rupees three lakh each for restoring the connectivity of link roads of 15 panchayats of Balsan area.

The Chief Minister said that the central team has recently visited the State to assess the damages and the State Government was hopeful that the first installment of interim relief would be released by the Union Government shortly. He said that a sum of Rs. 315 crore was pending under NDRF for the last few years due to some audit objections and the matter was taken up with the Union Home Minister, Amit Shah in recent visit to Delhi. I have been informed that out of Rs. 315 crore, Rs. 189 crore has been released by the Union Government, and the State has urged to release the remaining amount soon, said Sh. Sukhu

We have enhanced the compensation multifold, almost 10 times more, in wake of the unprecedented damages caused to life and property. He said that the compensation amount for partially damaged houses has been increased to rupees one lakh, while a proposal to enhance compensation to completely damaged houses was under consideration of the State Government.

Earlier, HPCC General Secretary, Rajneesh Kimta welcomed the Chief Minister and thanked him for extending assistance to the affected people besides funds for restoration works.

The Chief Minister also paid his obeisance at Kaleshwari Mata Temple, Diyundar in Chopal.  

Education Minister, Rohit Thakur, Chief Parliamentary Secretary, Mohan Lal Brakta, MLA, Balbir Verma, Principal Advisor (Media) to Chief Minister, Naresh Chauhan, Deputy Commissioner, Aditya Negi and other dignitaries were also present on the occasion amongst others.

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