State Calamity Declared, CM Urges Centre to label “National Calamity” as Rains continue to wreak havoc

Himachal Pradesh: Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu announced on Friday that the Himachal Pradesh government has officially labeled the extensive destruction resulting from intense rainfall as a state calamity. A formal notification regarding this decision was released on the same day. Concurrently, the state is in anticipation of a response from the Central government to potentially consider the Himachal Pradesh disaster to a national calamity status.

Rains continue to torment Himachal Pradesh

Since Sunday, the hill state has experienced heavy downpours, resulting in landslides across various districts, including Shimla. Addressing the media, the chief minister mentioned that robust rescue operations are currently underway. The state government is actively engaged in supporting affected families, particularly those who have encountered house damages due to the flash floods and landslides. These efforts are being carried out using the state’s own resources.

The death toll in the heavily flooded Himachal Pradesh has risen to 75, with 22 of those deaths occurring in just the three major landslides that occurred in Shimla alone—at the Shiva temple in Summer Hill, as well as in Fagli and Krishnanagar, SP, Shimla, according to Sanjeev Kumar Gandhi. Another body was recently recovered from the rubble of a Shiv temple in Summer Hill. There are still believed to be six people stuck within the ruins.

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Numbers continue to rise

Approximately six individuals are currently apprehended to be trapped beneath the temple debris. Since the initiation of the monsoon on June 24, a distressing total of 217 individuals have lost their lives in rain-related incidents within Himachal Pradesh. Alongside this tragic toll, 11,301 residences have suffered either partial or complete damage, as per reports from the state’s emergency operation center. The state continues to grapple with the consequences, with 506 roads remaining inaccessible and 408 transformers, along with 149 water supply systems, experiencing disruption.

In a response to the crisis, over the past three days, 2,074 individuals have been successfully evacuated from flood-affected areas within the Kangra district. In view of the extensive damage inflicted by the monsoon deluge, Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu had earlier stated that it will take about a year for the state to reconstruct the damaged infrastructure.

Also Read: Rain in Himachal Pradesh Causes ₹10000 Crore Loss, 74 People Dead; Miraculous Rescue of 1000 from Flood-hit Kangra

Regulations changed for MLA Development Fund

In a recent development on Thursday, the state government has eased the regulations governing the utilization of the MLA local area development fund. Under the revised guidelines, Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) are now granted the flexibility to allocate their annual fund of Rs 2.10 crore towards various projects. This includes initiatives such as the construction of retaining walls and the channelization of drains.

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