Himachal CM announces ₹4,500-crore package for flood-affected families
The government has increased compensation amount by 25 times for the loss of human lives, animals, houses and agrarian land
While the state government desperately awaits a special package from the central government, chief minister (CM) Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu on Saturday opened the state coffers and announced a special relief package of ₹4,500 crore for relief and rehabilitation of the flood-affected families in the state.
The government has increased compensation amount by 25 times for the loss of human lives, animals, houses and agrarian land.
“In spite of the grim financial crisis, it is the duty of my government to help and stand by each affected people of the state,” said Sukhu as he castigated the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for not supporting Congress resolution in the house for declaring the catastrophe in Himachal as a national calamity.
“The BJP did not stand with the people of the state at the time of crisis. At times, politics should not be played for politicking. One has to rise above this for state interest,” he added
“I am thankful for appreciation for promptness shown by tackling the flood situation from Niti Ayogh, World Bank and former chief minister Shanta Kumar. My government will reach the last man,” said Sukhu.
The CM announced a compensation of ₹1.30 lakh for a completely damaged house increased by five and a half times to ₹7 lakhs. About 3,500 houses have been completely damaged due to the disaster in the state. Apart from this, the compensation of ₹4,000 for partial damage to a kutcha house has been increased by 25 times to ₹1 lakh, while the compensation for partial damage to a pucca house has been increased 15 and a half times from ₹6,500 to ₹1 lakh. He said that 6,930 kutcha houses and 5,549 pucca houses have been partially damaged in the state.
Sukhu announced a compensation of ₹25,000 given in case of damage to a shop or dhaba has also been increased four times to ₹1 lakh. The state government will provide increased financial assistance of ₹50,000 instead of ₹3,000 for damage to the cowshed. He said due to the disaster, 670 shops and dhabas as well as 8,300 cow sheds have been damaged in the state.
The CM said the state government will provide assistance of ₹50,000 for damage or loss to the belongings of the tenants thereby marking 20 times increase from the existing ₹2,500. The number of such affected people is 1909.
He said the compensation for loss of cattle head has also been increased in the relief manual to ₹55,000 per head. In the monsoon fury, 96 cows and buffaloes, 16 horses and donkeys and six calves died. Earlier, they used to get ₹37,500, ₹34,000 and ₹20,000 respectively for the death of cattle head as above. The earlier compensation of ₹4,000 for the death of a sheep or goat has also been enhanced to ₹6,000.
Sukhu said the agriculture and horticulture sector has also suffered huge damage in the disaster. He said the earlier compensation of ₹3,615 per bigha for damage to agricultural and horticultural land has been increased to ₹10,000. The compensation on crop loss of ₹500 per bigha has also been increased eight times to ₹4,000. The financial assistance for removing silt from agricultural and horticultural land has also been increased to ₹5,000 per bigha. He said due to the devastation caused by the disaster, 37,899 bighas of agricultural land, 17,947 bighas of horticulture land in Himachal have been damaged while crops on 26,490 bighas have also been damaged. Apart from this, agricultural and horticultural land in 42 bighas has been damaged due to silt.
The CM said the state government would provide two biswa of land in urban areas and three biswa in rural areas for the reconstruction of houses completely damaged by the disaster. Under the special package, such families will also be eligible, whose land is no longer habitable. Apart from this, there will be no income ceiling for the distribution of relief. The landless disaster-affected persons, who have been living in Himachal Pradesh for a long period of time and desire to live in Himachal permanently, will also be provided land under the package.
He said for the rehabilitation of disaster-hit low-income group sanitation workers or migrant labourer, whose houses have been completely damaged within the municipal limits of the state will also be rehabilitated. The concerned district magistrate will select suitable land and rehabilitate it with the help of the municipal corporation.
Sukhu said the government will also bear the cost of providing electricity and water connections to the under-construction houses of those affected families whose houses have been completely destroyed. He added that cement will also be provided to these families at government rates to build new houses.
Delhi LG okays ₹10-cr contribution towards Himachal disaster relief
Lieutenant governor (LG) VK Saxena on Saturday approved a contribution of ₹10 crore to the Himachal Aapda Rahat Kosh 2023, from Delhi’s relief fund to help the hill state in its rehabilitation works, the Raj Niwas said.
The move comes after a meeting between Saxena and Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu at the recently concluded northern zonal council meeting in Amritsar.
Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal had announced ₹10-crore contribution to Himachal Pradesh earlier this month.