Giving details about the loss suffered by the State due to heavy rains lately and particularly incessant rains on 14th and 15th of August, 2014 coupled with flashfloods, cloudbursts and landslides at many places, Revenue Minister Kaul Singh Thakur revealed that as may as 33 human lives and around 610 animals were perished besides heavy damages caused to public and private property were reported from several parts of the state.
Thakur said that the approximate loss assessed so far was Rs. 600 crore and the exact details of loss was being assessed. The Minister said that memorandum of the losses based on the damage reports were being prepared and would be sent to Government of India shortly for seeking central assistance.
He further informed that rainfall in the State as a whole was 140 percent to 204 percent above normal during the above two days. The worst affected districts are Mandi and Hamirpur, besides districts of Kangra, Kullu, Bilaspur, Kinnaur, Sirmaur and Solan also suffered heavy losses and many roads and houses were damaged due to landslides in these districts too. Apart from this few bridges were also washed away, he said.
Minister further revealed that to deal with the situation, State Emergency Operation Center had been set up at State Headquarters. Apart from this, District Emergency Operation Centre’s had been set up in each district and were made fully functional for better coordination in case of any eventuality, he added.
All the Additional District Magistrates have been appointed as Nodal Officers (Disaster Management). The Telephone numbers of all the Nodal Officers were also advertised through leading Hindi as well as English newspapers, said the Minister. He said that Rs. 1.15 Crore have been released for the creation of State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) in the State. During the year 2013-14, a sum of Rs. 293.00 crore was allocated to the districts and departments for providing immediate relief, rehabilitation, repair and restoration of damaged works and maintenance of public property.
The minister further stated that adequate funds have been provided to Deputy Commissioners, department of PWD, IPH, Power and Agriculture for carrying out relief works. So far an amount of Rs. 76.50 Crore has been released. He said that more assistance would be given further as per the demand. Relief is being disbursed strictly in accordance with the norms laid down in the Disaster Management & Relief Manual, 2012 which was prepared by the previous BJP Government. He said that in a way the leaders of the BJP were criticizing their own norms through media. The present Government has, in fact, liberalized the norms and enhanced the quantum of relief where necessary.
The BJP Government had also gone to the extent of denying ex-gratia to the next of kin in case of Non-Himachalis, a step which was insensitive and against humanitarianism.
The Minister further clarified that Memorandum of Losses would be submitted to the Central Government only after detailed survey and assessment; and not as a knee jerk reaction to a situation.