HP demands Rs 734.54 crore from Centre

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Shimla, Aug 14 (UNI) Himachal Pradesh has demanded an assistance of Rs 734.54 crore from the Central government to meet the largescale damages caused by heavy rains in the hill state.

The state PWD and Revenue Minister Thakur Gulab Singh said here today that a detailed report on the extensive damages caused by the incessant heavy rains during current rainy season showed that the state needed an aid of a sum of Rs 734.54 crore from the Central Government to compensate the affected families and to speed up the relief and rehabilitation works.

He said as many as 146 people have lost their lives, besides, 2780 livestock had perished as a result of heavy rains.

The Minister said orchardists and farmers had been worst-hit by the ongoing heavy downpour, which had also caused extensive damage to roads, bridges, public and private properties worth Rs 911.64 crore.

Thakur Gulab Singh further informed that the rains had played havoc with the agriculture crops on 91238 hectare and fruits crop over 2226 hectare of land in the State causing financial loss worth Rs 355.47 crore.

The loss to private buildings including cowsheds amounts to Rs 138.01 crore whereas the loss to roads and bridges and to different works and schemes of irrigation and Public Health Department stand estimated at Rs 99.05 crore and Rs 12.27 crore respectively.

He said as per preliminary reports received from all Deputy Commissioners of the State the initial loss due to heavy rains amounted to Rs 336.83 crore.

Shimla district had witnessed highest amount of losses estimated at Rs 235.32 crore whereas it has been Rs 15.93 crore in Kangra, Rs 14.66 crore in Hamirpur, Rs 12.05 crore in Kullu, Rs 6.59 crore in Mandi, Rs 5.49 crore in Chamba, Rs 2.80 crore in Kinnaur and Rs 1.17 crore in Bilaspur district.

Mr Singh said to compensate the losses incurred in agriculture sector the State Government has demanded Rs 45.61 crore and Rs 22.26 crore in horticulture sector.

He said in view of heavy rains and flash floods, all officials had been directed to expedite and properly implement relief and rehabilitation works in their respective districts and submit timely reports to the Government.

UNI JN AB BST2211

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