Himachal cabinet gives nod to special disaster relief package
Under the Himachal special disaster relief package, compensation of ₹1.3 lakh for a completely-damaged house would be increased more than five-fold to ₹7 lakh
The Himachal Pradesh council of ministers in its meeting on Wednesday approved the special relief package for the disaster-affected families in the state as announced on September 30, 2023 by the chief minister.
Under the package, compensation of ₹1.3 lakh for a completely-damaged house would be increased more than five-fold to ₹7 lakh. Besides, compensation of ₹4,000 for partial damage to a “kutcha” house would be increased by 25 times to ₹1 lakh, while the compensation for partial damage to a “pucca” house would be increased from ₹6,500 to ₹1 lakh.
Further, compensation of ₹25,000 given in case of damage to a shop or dhaba would also be enhanced four times to ₹1 lakh. The state government will also provide increased financial assistance of ₹50,000 against the earlier ₹3,000 for damage to the cowshed among other changes.
The decision to provide two biswas of land in urban areas and three biswas in rural areas to those who have been rendered homeless and or are not left with land suitable for the construction of new houses.
The compensation of ₹3,615 per bigha for damage to agricultural and horticultural land, meanwhile, would be increased to ₹10,000 and for crop loss from ₹500 per bigha to ₹4,000. The special package would be granted for the June 24, 2023 to September 30, 2023, period.
Van Mitra scheme green-lit
The cabinet also green-lit the Van Mitra scheme for the forest department, under which, each of the 2,061 forest beats will get an appointee or “Van Mitra” to strengthen the participation of local communities in protection, conservation and development of green cover by roping in grassroot institutions.
During the cabinet meeting, which was presided over by chief minister (CM) Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu, a nod was also given to fill up 100 vacant forest guard posts in the department on contractual basis.
In another major decision, the cabinet approved enhancing the honorarium of Jal Rakshaks, multi-purpose workers, para fitters and para pump operators of Jal Shakti Vibhag by ₹500 per month, raising it to ₹5,000, ₹4,400, ₹6,000 and ₹6,000 respectively.
An in-principle approval was given to establish a passenger ropeway system from Chintpurni Baba Mai Dass Bhawan Parking to Chintpurni Temple in PPP mode in district Una with a cost of ₹76.50 crore in order to facilitate visiting pilgrims.
The cabinet, meanwhile, decided to promote Amateur and Community Radios for Alternate Communication during emergencies in all districts of the State — which would provide effective information exchange between information sources, emergency managers and those impacted by disaster or emergent situations.
An approval was given to grant 234 bus routes for private operators and an additional 100 routes for tempo travellers to provide better transport facilities to the people of the state. Besides, hiring of 15 e-taxis for the transport department was also green-lit.
The cabinet also gave a nod to declare traffic inspectors, motor vehicles inspectors, senior motor vehicle inspectors of the transport department and assistant sub-inspectors and head constable of police department as designated authority to compound the offences under various Sections of the Motor Vehicle Act, 1988.