Chief Secretary S. Roy convened a high powered committee meeting to ascertain the situation that has arisen after the natural havoc which had struck district Kinnaur on account of incessant rains, landslips and snow bringing life to a standstill. He informed that Govt machinery was providing the Relief and Rescue operations on war-footing and it was being ensured that all the stranded people were evacuated as soon as possible.

Chief Secretary appraised that as many as 400-500 people were still stranded in different parts of Kinnaur and 69 people were airlifted today to Rampur. In all 278 people had been airlifted since yesterday.

He directed the Indian Oil authorities and other agencies to ensure availability of aviation fuel and asked them to stock sufficient quantity of the fuel, adding that arrangements were made to ensure the supply of Kerosene and diesel and LPG refills to different parts of Kinnaur. Roy also directed that the schedule of the sorties involved in evacuation should be strictly followed on the basis of registration and the ill, weak, elderly, students and children should be given preference. He said that arrangements of refueling had been made at Rampur and Annadale helipad in Shimla to meet any exigency.

He asked the PWD authorities to speed up the work on opening of link roads in the district so that at least mobility and supply of essential commodities be made available to the people. He stressed upon making the link roads jeepable if not fully operational till the transportation and communication was fully restored. This would enable trans-shipment of passengers as a short term measure.

Three HAS officers have been deputed in affected areas of the district to assist in relief, rescue and rehabilitation efforts. Besides, Rs. 10 crore has been released by the State Government for carrying out immediate relief operations and assistance to the people.

Chief Secretary said that there was no shortage of edible items and efforts were afoot to restore the electricity.

He informed that so far 14 deaths had been reported more than 150 houses have been fully damaged and 55 partially damaged, besides a loss of more than Rs 50 crore has been assessed in agriculture and Horticulture sector respectively, clarifying that these were preliminary estimates.

Brig S.K Kataria, Chief Engineer, Project Deepak informed that assistance was being sought from Private Hydel Projects in terms of men and machinery to restore the Indo-Tibetan Border Road. He said that logistics were being arranged from Chandigarh Western Command Headquarters and task force deployed on Manali- Sarchu highway. He said that endeavors were afoot to open the main highway within a week’s time.

The State Government is fully committed to put in all its efforts and resources to restoration of normalcy at the earliest. The situation is being monitored at regular intervals by senior officers.

For the information of tourists visiting Himachal Pradesh, except Kinnaur district, the roads leading to major tourist destinations were through and there was no inconvenience to the tourists/visitors throughout the state except Kinnaur district.