Dhumal takes stock of relief measures after Malana fire

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Shimla Jan 6 (UNI) Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal today visited the Malana village where at least 150 houses were reduced to ashes in a devastating fire yesterday.

The Chief Minister was there to take stock of the relief and rehabilitation measures initiated by the district administration to provide shelter and other essential commodities to the affected families.

He said the state government would initially spend about Rs 3 crore over the relief and rehabilitation measures.

The Chief Minsiter initially handed over Rs 85 lakh to the Deputy Commissioner to be distributed among the families which have lost their belongings and to help them to reconstruct their houses.

Mr Dhumal said possibilities would be explored to provide additional relief under Rajiv Gandhi Awas Yojna for house construction.

''State Forest Corporation would be asked to supply timber wood to the affected families for which necessary funds would be made available by the government,'' he added.

''Temples of prominent shrines of Jamlu Devta, Atharah Karadu Devta and two temples of Renuka Mata, which were burnt down in the fire would also be restored to its original architecture and committees will be given Rs 2.50 lakh to reconstruct the historical temple in its original traditional architecture,'' he said.

Mr Dhumal said the State Government would do its best to restore the glory of heritage village Malana.''District administration would provide 15 rooms in Vaishno Devi Temple at Kullu to render temporary asylum to the affected families during the winters,'' he said.

The fire was suspected to have been sparked from the live stub as in winters most of the houses in the region remain packed with fire wood and cattle fodder.

Scarcity of water and absence of road to the village was reported to be hampering the rescue operations.

UNI XC AS HS MMS AKJ RK1734

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