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HindustanTimes Wed,01 Oct 2014

Heavy rain on Aug 14-15 claimed 33 lives: minister

HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times   Shimla, August 26, 2014
First Published: 21:05 IST(26/8/2014) | Last Updated: 21:06 IST(26/8/2014)

Revenue minister Kaul Singh Thakur on Tuesday said that as many as 33 people died due to flash flood and landslides triggered by incessant rains on August 14 and 15. The monetary loss during the two days was assessed at Rs. 600 crore.

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Thakur, in a press statement issued here, said that a detailed assessment survey of losses would be conducted and a memorandum of losses would be submitted to the government.

He said around 610 animals were washed away and heavy damage to the public and private property was reported from several parts of the state. “The losses assessed so far was Rs. 600 crore and the exact details of the losses suffered  are being worked out,” he added. 

Thakur further said that rainfall in the state as a whole was 140% to 204% above normal on August 14, 15. The worst-affected districts are Mandi and Hamirpur.

The districts of Kangra, Kullu, Bilaspur, Kinnaur, Sirmaur and Solan also suffered heavy losses and many roads and houses were damaged due to landslides in these districts.  Apart from this, some bridges were also washed away, he added.
 
To deal with the situation, a 'State Emergency Operation Centre' has been set up at the state headquarters, the minister said.

Besides, District Emergency Operation Centres have also been set up in each district and were made fully functional for better coordination in case of any eventuality. 

He said that a sum of Rs. 1.15 crore has been released for the creation of the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF). During 2013-14, a sum of Rs. 293 crore was allocated to the districts and various departments for providing immediate relief, rehabilitation, repair and restoration of damaged works and maintenance of public property. 

In order to carry out the restoration and maintenance works, Thakur said that adequate funds have been provided to deputy commissioners, departments of public work,  irrigation and public health, power and agriculture. “For this purpose, an amount of Rs. 76.50 crore has been released,” he added. 

He further said the present government has liberalised the norms and enhanced the quantum of relief wherever necessary.

 “The (previous) BJP government had gone to the extent of denying ex-gratia to the next of kin in case of non-Himachalis, a step which was insensitive and against humanitarianism,” added Thakur.

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