Shimla: Himachal Pradesh has demanded Rs. 374.21 crore from Union Government for damage during the winter season. Chief Secretary B.K. Agarwal in a meeting of the Inter Ministerial Central Team (IMCT) here today which was on the three-day visit to the State to assess the damages and losses occurred during winter season-2019 in the State, informed that the State suffered major loss and damage in the winter season due to heavy snowfall, avalanches, landslides, hailstorms and heavy rains.

The Chief Secretary said that during the period between 1st January to 31st March 2019, as many as 408 human lives and 207 animal lives were lost in the State. Similarly, 1346 houses, 9516 water supply schemes were damaged, 30,921 electricity lines were disrupted, 10,260 LT electrical poles got damaged. Besides, 13,733 kilometre roads length and 377 hectare horticulture crop area was affected during the period.

He urged the IMCT to push forward the case of Himachal Pradesh for financial assistance at the earliest with the government of India.

The IMCT team headed by Joint Secretary, KB Singh from Freedom Fighters Rehabilitation department assessed the damages at various places in Shimla, Kinnaur, Chamba, Kullu and Mandi districts. The other members if the IMCT were Director (Horticulture) Dr. M.N. Singh, Director (Expenditure) S.C. Meena, Deputy Director (Ministry of Rural Development), Deputy Director from Rural Development SS Modi, Director, Central Water Commission OP Gupta, Deputy Director, Power OP Suman, Regional Officer, Road Transport and Highways Vipnesh Sharma.

Detailing about the cumulative losses suffered by the State, Director-cum-Special Secretary, HP Disaster Management Authority D.C Rana informed that the State suffered damaged to the horticulture and agriculture sector to the tune of 0.54 crore, animal husbandry Rs. 0.19 crore, fishery 0.015 crore, housing Rs. 10.46 crore, community assets Rs. 2.50 crore, forest Rs. 6.78 crore, Public works department Rs. 242.27 crore, IPH Rs. 43.97 crore and Power Rs. 51.17 crore. Besides Rs. 16.32 crore have been distributed as ex-gratia for human lives lost during the calamities in winter season.

Additional Chief Secretary Anil Khachi and R.D Dhiman, Special Secretary D.D Sharma, Deputy Commissioner Shimla Amit Kashyap and the head of the departments of PWD, IPH, State electricity Board, agriculture, horticulture, forests and fisheries etc. were present in the meeting.

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Rahul Bhandari is Editor of TheNewsHimachal and has been part of the digital world for last 15 years.