Where’s the fondness now?: Himachal minister attacks Centre’s apathy to state’s calamity
Negi expressed disappointment at the state of affairs, saying the government was yet to receive the promised ₹749 crore from the Centre
In a heated debate during the state assembly’s monsoon session regarding the declaration of a national disaster, horticulture and revenue minister Jagat Singh Negi expressed strong discontentment with Centre’s handling of the rain-induced calamity in the state. The minister accused Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi, who he said has often professed his fondness for Himachal, of having forgotten the state in its hour of need.
Negi expressed disappointment at the state of affairs, saying the government was yet to receive the promised ₹749 crore from the Centre. He highlighted the financial burden placed on the state government amid relief measures, saying that it was also being asked to cover the cost of helicopter services acquired from the Centre relief operations.
The minister went on to emphasise the severity of the calamity, reiterating the need to declare it a national disaster. He noted that the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) Committee, chaired by the PM, had not convened a meeting to address the situation in Himachal, which, in his view, reflected the Centre’s indifferent attitude.
The discussion on the calamity being and its impact on the state continued in the assembly for the third consecutive day.
Participating in the discussion, Bharatiya Janata Party (MLA) from Paonta Sahib, Sukhram Chaudhary, raised the issue of damage caused by natural disaster in Sirmauri Tal of Paonta and the need to provide relief to the affected people.
He accused the state government of not providing the requisite compensation to the 33 disaster victims in Tal, adding that a disaster-affected family has been waiting for relief money for two months. He demanded the CM to provide adequate relief to the victims.
Sukhram Chaudhary said that 5 people of a family have died in Sirmauri Tal due to cloud burst incident.
Participating in the discussion, Congress’ Bhavani Singh Pathania reiterated the demand to the Center to declare the calamity in Himachal a “national disaster”.
Pathania said the declaration will help in relief and rehabilitation works in the state, adding that in that case, the Centre will give 100% relief amount from the Disaster Contingency Fund. He also disclosed the details of the damage caused in Indora and Fatehpur of Kangra district due to the release of water from Pong Dam and the efforts of the Chief Minister and the government to quickly implement the relief works.