Chief minister Virbhadra Singh on Wednesday visited Kotla village in the Banjar assembly segment of Kullu district where more than 70 houses were gutted in a fire that broke out on Sunday night.
The CM, who reached the village around 11am, met the affected families who lost everything in the fire and announced Rs 2 crore for construction of houses. This amount also includes Rs 50 lakh for the renovation of temples of the local deities. He assured of all possible assistance in the future as well and exhorted the people to renovate the temples in the ancient hill architecture.
The CM said he was deeply pained over the incident as a large number of families had gone homeless. The government would leave no stone unturned to rehabilitate them and the sufferers would also be given adequate relief as per the relief manual, besides other things of daily use. The people of the state were with them in this hour of grief and if need be, additional financial assistance would be provided to re-built the houses, he said.
The CM said proper mechanism would be followed for laying water pipes, sewerage, electric poles and other facilities in Kotla village. He advised people not to construct the houses wall to wall and also not to keep the fodder in the houses which acts as a fuel during fire incidents. He also appealed them to voluntarily give land for construction of roads. He said that the link road to the village would be maintained by the public works department (PWD).
He said there was no dearth of funds and the necessary assistance apart from the money announced would be provided as per need to give much-needed relief to the people by the state government. Virbhadra also appealed to non-governmental organisations to come forward in this hour of grief and extend all possible help to the villagers.
The CM was accompanied by ayurveda minister Karan Singh and Kullu deputy commissioner Rakesh Kanwar.
Virbhadra also listened to the grievances of the villagers.
Interacting with HT, a majority of villagers expressed hope that the state government would construct houses for them. They are forced to live in temporary tents in the vicinity of the village after the Sunday fire tragedy.