Chief Secretary RD Dhiman, on Tuesday, said that 278 human lives were lost in various incidents of flash floods, cloud bursts, landslides and house collapses during this monsoon season so far in Himachal Pradesh, while 522 people were injured and nine people are still missing.
As many as 169 houses were completely damaged, while 825 houses were partially damaged, he said, adding that 72 shops and 887 cow shelters were also damaged and 587 livestock have also been reported killed.
This was revealed by Dhiman in a high-level meeting through video conferencing with the Inter-ministerial team of the Centre, which was on a three-day visit to the state to take stock of the damage so far in this monsoon season.
The members of the central team led by Sunil Kumar Barnwal, Joint Secretary, Disaster Management, of the Ministry of Home Affairs, had a wide discussion with the Chief Secretary and other officers of the concerned departments through video conferencing from Dharamshala and Bilaspur, and also received the interim memorandum regarding the damage in the state.
Dhiman said that for the first time, a high-level Inter-ministerial team of the Centre has visited Himachal Pradesh in the mid monsoon season from 28 August to 30th August, on the special request of the state government, which helped in assessing the actual situation.
He said: “An interim memorandum of loss of Rs 1981.86 crore was submitted to the Central team. This includes the loss of Rs 957.09 crore to the Public Works Department and Rs 725.07 crore to the Jal Shakti Department.”
Apart from this, there has also been heavy damage to other departments and private property, he added. The Chief Secretary said that this was only an interim report and these figures were likely to be increased significantly in the coming days as 20-25 days were still left for the monsoon season and damage assessment is still being done at many places.
He added that the final damage report would be submitted by the end of the season and the suggestions of the central team would also be included in this report.
Joint Secretary, Disaster Management, Sunil Kumar Barnwal said that two different groups of the central team took stock of the situation by undertaking extensive tours of the disaster-affected areas of Kangra, Chamba, Mandi, and Kullu districts. The team also visited relief camps.
There has been a heavy loss in these areas of the state, said Barnwal, and also appreciated the steps taken by the local administration and the state government for rescue and relief works. He and other team members also gave valuable suggestions regarding the report.