ANI Photo | Three central govt teams to visit Himachal Pradesh to access losses due to floods

Three teams of officials from the Central government will be visiting Himachal Pradesh on Wednesday to assess the flood situation and evaluate the losses in the state, state Revenue Minister Jagat Singh Negi said.
Speaking to ANI Jagat Singh Negi said, “Tomorrow three central teams are reaching Chandigarh, they will be visiting Mandi, Kullu and Rohru areas of Shimla district. I want to thank my secretary Revenue and his team who had worked hard in this disaster situation. He will take care and coordinate with the team. So far we have assessed an estimated loss of over 4500 crore. The central teams will evaluate it further. Losses may increase further.”
Alleging that the former Chief Minister and Leader of Opposition Jai Ram Thakur is trying to play politics on the matter, Negi said that this is not the time for it and instead, they should all focus on restoration.
“I don’t understand what Jai Ram Thakur Ji wants to tell, he has been visiting the state and he is meeting people in his car. He is not even getting down from his car,” he said in a swipe aimed at the former Chief Minister.
Countering the allegations raised by Jai Ram Thakur, he said, “As far as he is talking about the use of rescue helicopters by us, what is wrong in it? If the helicopter had not dropped me and CPS Sanjay Awasthi, we would not have successfully evacuated the tourists safely.”
Speaking about the dire situation in his state, Negi said, “Even today there was snowfall. Tribal shepherds and locals are still stranded there. Nearly fifty people are there; they are safe and they want the roads to open soon. Today, I have directed ADM Lahaul to open the roads.”
Asking the former Chief Minister to work collectively, the state Revenue Minister said, “I want to ask Jai Ram ji, instead of playing politics he should speak to me and inform me about the problems and issues. There is a need to work collectively at this point of time.”
Jagat Singh who led the rescue operation to evaluate the tourists from the Chandra Taal area of Lahaul-Spiti district said that the operation was challenging.
Speaking about the challenges, he said, “We were able to evacuate the stranded tourists as the Air Force after airlifting seven people tried another attempt but they failed. They did not want to risk the lives of those to be rescued as it was raining heavily and landing space was not there.”
“Hence it was decided that the helicopter would drop me and CPS Awasthi ji at Losar. From there we were able to reach the spot after clearing fourteen kilometers of road covered in snow. The snow was cleared by one driver overnight. 20 kilometers of snow was cleared. That is how we could bring out the standard tourists,” Negi explained the situation.
Countering Jairam Thakur’s criticism for clicking pictures at the spot, he said, “What is wrong if we have clicked pictures there. Those could have been our last pictures. If the rescue helicopters had not dropped us there, those tourists would have been stranded there even now.”
The Himachal Revenue Minister said that the roads are damaged in most places and restoration work will take time. Work is being done on war footing, he said adding that these include restoration of water supply, electricity and road infrastructure.
“As per the latest reports and field assessment, we have seen several long lengths of roads washed away in Manali and Kullu area, we are trying to restore them as soon as possible. It will take time to restore,” he said.
Negi further informed that Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu has decided that an additional one lakh rupees would be given apart from that given as per the NDRF and State Disaster Manual.
“Our Chief Minister has decided and notified today that one lakh rupees additional will be given to those whose houses have been damaged owing to the rains. This would be in addition to the NDRF and State Disaster Mannual. It is being notified that Rs 50,000 additionally would be given for partially damaged houses and Rs 6000 would be given to those who have lost each of their livestock,” Negi further added.
As per the state Disaster Management Authority Data during the past 24 days, rains and floods have claimed 122 lives since the onset of monsoon on June 24 in Himachal Pradesh.
Till now, 12 people are missing and 140 people have been injured. In Himachal Pradesh, nearly 500 houses have been damaged, besides 4643 houses have been partially damaged. 133 shops have been damaged in the state while 1008 cow sheds have been damaged due to rain and floods. Loss of over 1000 livestock has also been reported. There have been 56 incidents of landslides in the state besides 43 incidents of flash floods. However, only one incident of cloudburst was reported in the state till now

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