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Himachal CM seeks calamity relief on pattern of Kedarnath

Chief Minister provided a comprehensive overview of the destruction wreaked by the natural calamity and appealed for financial aid akin to that provided during the Kedarnath

Published Date – 07:30 PM, Sun – 20 August 23


Himachal CM seeks calamity relief on pattern of Kedarnath

IANS Photo

Shimla: Seeking financial assistance on the pattern of the Kedarnath disaster, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Sukhu on Sunday apprised visiting BJP national President Jagat Prakash Nadda and Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Singh Thakur about the extensive damage caused by unprecedented heavy rains in the state.

At a meeting here, the Chief Minister provided a comprehensive overview of the destruction wreaked by the natural calamity and appealed for financial aid akin to that provided during the Kedarnath and Bhuj tragedies to aid the state’s recovery efforts.

Underscoring the severity of the situation, he said that substantial landslides, widespread destruction of homes, and extensive damage to public and private property has been caused. The current relief manual of the Union government’s financial provisions are inadequate to compensate the losses of Himachal Pradesh, Sukhu said, and called for a specially tailored relief package considering the state’s geographical conditions and the severity of the disaster.

He also took up the issue of delayed release of the first installment of interim relief from the Union government. He pleaded Nadda and Thakur to expedite the process of providing financial assistance, saying the disaster had resulted in losses surpassing Rs 10,000 crore and said despite assessment teams being sent by the Central government, the interim relief was still pending.

The Chief Minister said the state had been utilising its limited resources to support the impacted population. He said the allocation of Rs 360 crore annually under the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) in two instalments has been released by the Union government.

He said the release of Rs 189 crore out of Rs 315 crore has been made by the Union government due to the state government’s efforts in addressing audit objections and called for the prompt disbursement of the remaining Rs 126 crore. He said by August 10, the state has raised claims worth Rs 6,700 crore by sending a detailed report of the damages caused in the state to the Central government.

Sukhu also elaborated on the state’s initiatives to enhance structural engineering and drainage systems, including plans for a new town near Shimla in Jathiya Devi. Nadda reiterated Union government’s commitment to offering substantial assistance to Himachal Pradesh owing to the unprecedented loss.

He assured that efforts would be directed towards securing the earliest release of the interim relief’s first installment. He emphasised Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pledge of unwavering support to the state during these challenging times.

He said it is the resolve of the Union government in mitigating the losses incurred and ensuring adequate funds for recovery. Union minister Thakur and Leader of Opposition Jai Ram Thakur also provided their insights at the meeting.

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