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The combined death toll from rains, floods and landslides in Himachal Pradesh since the onset of monsoon on June 24 reached 223.
Speaking to ANI on Wednesday, state Revenue Minister Jagat Singh Negi said Chief Minister Sukhvinder Sukhu was overseeing the ongoing restoration work in the state.
He said tourists could visit most parts of the state, aa they are deemed safe now after restoration work.
He informed further that the Kalka-Shimla National Highway has also been restored to traffic.
“The chief minister is monitoring the ongoing work for restoration and road connectivity. The movement of traffic on the Kalka Shimla National Highway has been restored. It has been opened for buses. However, trucks are still not allowed to ply,” Negi said.
“So far, 223 people have lost their lives in Himachal Pradesh and 295 have been injured. As many as 800 houses have also been damaged completely, while another 7500 houses have been partially been damaged. Scores of local bodies, schools and community centres have also been damaged,” the Revenue Minister added.
Negi said apple and other local produce and crops will be transported to the markets without any hassle.
“The apple harvesting season is running a month late this year due to continuous rain. The produce is estimated to be lower than the previous year. However, from the lower-altitude regions of the state, the apples have almost reached the market as the roads are now open and restored. We are working on a war footing to ensure that the produce reach the markets,” Negi said.
Further, he said as per a new government policy, apples and other fruits were being sold in accordance with their weight.
“We have made it clear that the fruits will be sold on the basis of their weight and we are ensuring that there are no violations to this. We have deputed our sub-divisional officers to streamline this process and the SDMs and Tehsildars have been given powers under APMC Act to deal with violations, if any. The director of horticulture and a team from Agriculture Marketing Produce Corporation are also touring the markets in the state to assess the situation,” said Jagat Singh.