Shimla: Incessant monsoon rains have claimed 20 lives in Himachal Pradesh and the damaged property worth Rs 380 crore.

Additional Chief Secretary (Revenue & Disaster Management) Tarun Sridhar, a review meeting, revealed that during monsoon season, total 173 deaths occurred out of which 20 deaths are due to flash floods, landslides and cloud burst etc. and remaining 153 deaths due to road accidents etc.

The maximum loss of Rs 291 crore was caused due to damage to roads, bridges and culverts, Additional Chief Secretary stated.

He said that 124 animals i.e. sheeps, goats, cows, buffalos and horses etc. died. Damage to road network including state roads, district roads and rural roads, besides bridges and culverts has been assessed to Rs. 291 crore, whereas damage to water and irrigation schemes has been assessed to Rs. 80 crore and rupees three crore to the electricity infrastructure. He said that total damage and loss has been assessed to Rs. 380 crores.

He said that 280 roads were damaged and blocked during last 2-3 days out of which 200 would be opened today. He said that about 740 schemes of IPH have been damaged out of which 540 have been restored.

The Chief Minister directed the Public Works Department to reopen all roads on priority and directed the Public Health Department to conduct drives for prevention of epidemics and water-borne diseases.

He ordered proper and immediate dissemination of warning and alerts and all the block roads to be reopened on war footing and alternate routes to be operationalized with continues monitoring.

He directed Agriculture and Horticulture departments to access the loss and damage due to heavy rains. He said that all department should prepare and update memorandum of losses so that same is complied at State level and could be sent timely to the Central Government. He directed Health department to conduct special drive for prevention of epidemics and water borne diseases and keep on reviewing any such incidence and take corrective measures immediately.

Virbhadra Singh directed to maintain inventory of search and rescue equipments and train manpower. He said that quick response teams (QRT) should be made operational in all the districts. He said that all the Deputy Commissioners should ensure that all roads are kept open and assess the damage to the public and private property. He said that tourist and general public should be stopped at district headquarters whenever any major road is blocked and no chaos to be created on highways.

Chief Minister said that all hydel power project authorities should ensure that no water should be released from reservoirs without prior warning.

The representative from IMD predicted heavy rainfall in next five days with very heavy rains in isolated places. As per the rain fall data from 1st August to 7th August, 2017 which have been above 55 per cent normal in the wee, the overall rainfall was deficient by minus 6 per cent.