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Centre releases Rs 63.88 crore aid for Himachal

The state had earlier received of Rs 180 crore in assistance for widespread crop and property losses due to rainfall.

Virbhadra-Singh The state had earlier received of Rs 180 crore in assistance for widespread crop and property losses due to rainfall. (Source: Express Archive)

The Centre on Tuesday released an immediate assistance of Rs 63.88 crore for Himachal Pradesh as relief for losses during the monsoon and ongoing unseasonal rains resulting in widespread crop and property losses. The state had earlier received an assistance of Rs 180 crore.

A central team, headed by Union Health Minister J P Nadda and Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh, which reached Shimla and held a meeting with Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and other high-level officials to assess the losses in the state, assured that Himachal Pradesh will get special attention keeping in view the hill topography and its geographical conditions .

“I well understand the topography of hill states and believe that Himachal Pradesh needs special attention.”
“It is the first time that two central ministers were rushed to the state. An official team will also reach Shimla for a follow-up action and get exact estimates of the losses due to current rains being caused by the western disturbances,” Nadda told The Indian Express before returning to Delhi.

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The state government’s memorandum put the total amount of losses to the tune of Rs 832.67 crores due to torrential rains, hailstorm and heavy snowfall.

On Monday, too, the state was lashed by unprecedented hailstorm, which caused huge damage to standing crops and fruit-bearing trees.

Around 88,000 hectares of both rabi and kharif crops are estimated to be affected.

A total loss of Rs 30.04 crore has been estimated in agricultural crops. Damage to horticulture crops is estimated to be to the tune of Rs 18 crore.

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The Opposition BJP delegation led by former chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal also submitted a memorandum to the central team seeking immediate help to the state.

The union agriculture minister informed that Rs 170 crore have already been sanctioned as damage and others Rs nine crore provided for rural drinking water supply schemes.

The state has been empowered to undertake necessary relief measures from State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) which has been made available to it,” he added.

First published on: 31-03-2015 at 08:40:18 pm
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