The collapse of an under-construction five-storey building in the town’s Panthaghati area, caving in of retaining walls, besides landslides and falling of trees, triggered by incessant rains have put Himachal Pradesh on alert with the meteorological department predicting more rains till August 9.
According to the data compiled by the state department of disaster management, 22 people have so far died in the rains across the state. There has also been heavy damage to private and public properties, including roads, bridges, power supply system and water supply schemes, in all the 12 districts, with the estimated loss till this evening being put at Rs 238.74 crore.
Special Secretary, Disaster Management, D D Sharma said: “We are getting daily reports from the Deputy Commissioners who have been put on high alert. Barring the two districts of Kangra and Kullu, latest reports of the damage have been received from other districts.”
Chief Secretary V C Pharka had Tuesday held a meeting with top government officials for a “mid-term appraisal of monsoon season”. Senior officials of departments like PWD, IPH, HPSEB Limited, Agriculture, Horticulture and Meteorological department were called to the meeting.
“Today, we have released an amount of Rs 63 crore for major restoration works of different departments, including PWD, IPH, Electricity Board, agriculture and horticulture agencies. This was in addition to Rs 42 crore already released for relief and rehabilitation,” said Sharma. In the meeting, the Deputy Commissioners were directed to maintain the quality of drinking water being supplied to the people by the IPH department and also municipal bodies. “A proper action plan should be ready for evacuation of colonies and settlements along the river beds. Control rooms in the districts should be made functional 24 X 7,” said a spokesman .