Heavy snow claimed lives of as many as 23 people in the state and caused damage to both government and private property to the tune of Rs. 229 crore this winter.
“Maximum deaths were reported from Kinnaur district and eight people died in Shimla district,” said revenue minister Kaul Singh Thakur in the Vidhan Sabha on Wednesday while replying to a question posed jointly by five legislators, including Ravinder Singh, Mahinder Singh, Govind Singh Thakur and Suresh Bhardwaj.
Thakur said the government had already allocated Rs. 24.2 lakh to compensate the kin of the deceased. “The sanctioned amount has already been sent to the deputy commissioners of the districts concerned,” he added.
The minister said there were also reports of heavy loss to apple trees in Shimla, Kinnaur, Mandi and Kullu districts. Snow damages were more in high-altitude areas, said Singh.
Giving details, he said the damages to the government property was estimated at Rs. 95.88 crore, while private properties suffered damage to the tune of Rs. 133 crore.
Thakur said 208 livestock were also killed in the snow. He said frost bite had also caused damage to the crops in low-lying areas. “The government is assessing the losses caused by frost bite, since the impact becomes evident only after winter months,” said Thakur.
He said in 2012-2013, the government had allocated Rs. 121.8 crore for restoration and relief work, out of which irrigation and public health, public works and electricity departments were allocated a sum of Rs. 72 crore.