Shimla, September 10
Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu has requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to declare the rain-caused calamity in the hill state as a "national disaster".
Sukhu was the only Chief Minister from the Congress-ruled states who attended a dinner hosted by President Droupadi Murmu for G20 leaders on Saturday.
In a post on X on Sunday, he said: “Had the privilege of addressing the grave aftermath of torrential rains in Himachal Pradesh during my conversation with Prime Minister Shri @narendramodi Ji after our G20 Summit dinner. I also requested a special disaster relief package and emphasised the need to designate this calamity as a ‘national disaster’, highlighting the urgency of the situation.”
Sukhu, who had earlier said Himachal Pradesh had suffered losses to the tune of Rs 12,000 crore due to rain-related incidents this monsoon, has been demanding that the calamity be declared as a national disaster and a special disaster package be announced on the lines of those provided in the aftermath of the Kedarnath and Bhuj tragedies.
On September 4, the Chief Minister had reiterated his demand and said he would meet Prime Minister Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah in this regard if the need arises.
Earlier, the Congress Government in the hill state had raised claims of losses to the tune of Rs 6,700 crore suffered till August 10 and sent a detailed report of the damage caused during the monsoon to the BJP-led Centre.
Himachal Pradesh saw two spells of heavy rain this monsoon. The first on July 9 and 10 led to large-scale destruction in Mandi and Kullu districts. Shimla and Solan districts were hit during the second spell on August 14 and 15, and the capital city of Shimla suffered heavy damage as an aftermath.
According to the state emergency operation centre, 418 people have died (265 in rain-related incidents and 153 in road accidents) since the onset of monsoon on June 24 till September 9, while 39 are missing. The state has suffered losses of Rs 8,678 crore and the estimates are still pouring in, it said.
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