JP Nadda

Himachal Pradesh government has demanded Union government to assess the loss, due to natural disasters to the States, on the basis of vulnerability to disasters of a particular state rather than disbursing the central assistance by taking into consideration the population and the geographical area.

Himachal Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh in a meeting with Union Health Minister Jagat Prakash Nadda and Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh today, presented the case of relief on account of loss of human lives and both public and private property during the monsoon and the ongoing lean winter period.

The Chief Minister said that the hilly states were more vulnerable to natural disasters and Union Government need to be generous while allotting funds for them.

Virbhadra Singh apprised Union Ministers about the natural disasters in the State. He informed ministers the state had experienced torrential rains and heavy snowfall during the winter season and hailstorms, which have caused damage to the standing crops and fruit bearing trees, besides damaging roads and bridges badly in the state.

The Chief Minister apprised that as many as 890 roads and 40 bridges were worst damaged and around 4647 Irrigation and water supply schemes were affected. Besides, 360 kilometers of Transmission line, 381 transformers and 11 electric sub stations were in the list of the infrastructural property which suffered massive damage of around 55.84 crore, he added. Apart from this, 61 human lives were lost and around 964 animals were perished and many houses were damaged.

The Chief Minister stated that due to the natural calamities the state revenue agencies has assessed the loss to the tune of Rs 832.67 crores during the last eight months and had submitted the memorandum of damages to the Union Government adding that the central team had visited Himachal in November 2014 and sanctioned a sum of Rs 170 crore for damages and Rs. nine crore for rural drinking water supply schemes, but the State Government had received only Rs 63 crore.

Union Health Minister Jagat Prakash Nadda assured full support of the Government of India. Nadda revealed the matter pertaining to the loss suffered by the State on account of natural calamity was also discussed in the Lok Sabha and the Prime Minister had directed all the Ministers to visit all such areas in the State and get the final loss estimates so that immediate relief be given to the States which have suffered huge losses in terms of life and property.

He said that he will go along with Virbhadra Singh on the issue pertaining to financial assistance to be given on the basis of vulnerability of State to disasters and he will also suggest the loss assessing committees at the centre to incorporate the clause while preparing the Disaster Relief Funds to be given to the States.

Minister of Agriculture GoI, Radha Mohan Singh also assured to consider the state demands and asked state government to send estimate of loss suffered by the farmers and horticulturalists of the State.

Singh said that a sum of Rs. 63 crore had been released and the remaining amount would be soon released to the State. He assured to pursue the case and of all possible help to the State to compensate the losses.

Health and Revenue Minister Kaul Singh Thakur, Transport and Food and Civil Supplies Minister G.S. Bali, Agriculture Minister Sujan Singh Pathania, MLA Asha Kumari, Additional Chief Secretaries Vineet Chaudhary, Upma Chaudhary, V.C. Pharka and Tarun Shridhar were also present on the occasion amongst others.