Declare rain calamity a ‘national disaster’, Himachal CM urges PM Narendra Modi - Hindustan Times
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Declare rain calamity a ‘national disaster’, Himachal CM urges PM Narendra Modi

By, Shimla
Sep 10, 2023 11:27 PM IST

Himachal CM Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu was the only CM from Congress-ruled states who attended the event hosted by President Droupadi Murmu

{At G20 dinner}

Himachal CM Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu interacting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the gala dinner during the G20 Summit in New Delhi. (PTI)
Himachal CM Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu interacting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the gala dinner during the G20 Summit in New Delhi. (PTI)

Himachal Pradesh chief minister (CM) Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu has requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to declare the rain-caused calamity in the hill state a national disaster. Sukhu was the only CM from Congress-ruled states who attended a dinner hosted by President Droupadi Murmu for G20 leaders on Saturday.

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In a post on X (formerly Twitter) 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.”

An official statement said Sukhu has conveyed the gravitas of the damage suffered by the hill state during the monsoon season to the prime minister and appealed to him to declare the rain-related incidents a “national disaster”.

The CM has also told Modi that Himachal Pradesh requires substantial assistance from the Union government to chart a path towards recovery and requested him to announce a special relief package for the state.

Sukhu — who had earlier said Himachal Pradesh had suffered losses of worth 12,000 crore due to rain-related incidents this monsoon — has been demanding that the calamity be declared 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 6,700 crore suffered till August 10 and sent a detailed report of the damage caused during the monsoon to the Bharatiya Janata Party-led central government. 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 like landslides, boulder falls, floods, 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 8,678 crore and the estimates are still pouring in, it said.

Dignitaries including US President Joe Biden, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Presidents and Prime Ministers from other countries, representatives of 19 invited countries, dignitaries from various international organisations, including the United Nations, International Monetary Fund and World Health Organization, Union cabinet ministers and chief ministers of various states attended the dinner

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