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Central government approves Rs.22,800 crore to Himachal in 12th Five-Year Plan

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Vigyan-Bhawan

Central-government-approves-Rs.22,800-crore-to-Himachal-in-12th-Five-Year-Plan

Council (NDC) held in Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi today. In his address, Chief Minister, Shri Virbhadra Singh revealed that the 12th five year plan allocation was 65% higher in comparison to 11th five year plan which was highest in the country.

Chief Minister said that State Government had targeted an annual growth rate of 9% per annum in comparison to National average growth rate of 8.2% per annum. He said that higher growth rate of 4.5% was targeted in agriculture and allied sectors as compared to 4.2% growth rate at present, by increasing the farm productivity. He said that Government was spending more then nine percent of its plan allocation on agriculture and allied sector and requested the Union Government to offer incentives to the State Government by providing at least 50 percent of state outlay under Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojna (RKVY) during the 12th plan period. He said that Government would ensure efficient management of pre-harvesting and post harvesting operations and encourage cultivation of off-seasonal vegetables, organic farming, setting up poly houses, drip and micro irrigation facilities to raise the farm income during plan period.
He said that State Government would bring additional 27000 hectare of land under irrigation during plan period by executing different irrigations schemes. He said that target had been fixed to provide 70 litres drinking water per person per day in the State in comparison to National average of 55 litres per person per day. He said that all the left-out 10,725 habitations out of total 53,201 habitations would be provided safe drinking water during the plan. He requested the Union Government to increase the cost norms under Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Project (AIBP) programme keeping in view of the tough geographical, topographical conditions and limited working season in the hill state. He requested for increase of per hectare cost norm from present Rs. 1.5 lakh to four lakh and increase the completion period from present two years to three years.

Chief Minister, Shri Virbhadra Singh urged Government of India (GoI) to assist the State Government for setting up food processing industries in the state and to increase the import duty three times on imported apples in order to safe guard the interest of fruit growers of the State besides to restore the air traffic to the state to promote tourism and also provide subsidy on heli-taxi service on the pattern of north eastern states. He requested GoI for liberal financial assistance for expansion and up-gradation of existing civil aviation infrastructure in the state and pleaded for extension of Shimla airport runway through extensions. He urged to declare Baddi- Kalka and Bilaspur- Leh via Manali railway lines as project of National importance and early completion of ongoing Nangal-Talwara and Bhanupalli-Bilaspur-Beri railway line by allocating adequate budget provision. He said that State Government would construct about 7500 Kms of new road network to connect all the villages with population of more than 100 persons during the plan and added that 2000 Kms of National Highways and proper maintenance of already existing road network would be undertaken.

Chief Minister Shri Virbhadra Singh said that additional 4630 MW Hydropower would be generated in the state during the plan period and added that the state had so far harnessed 8368 MW hydro-electric potential out of total potential of 23000 MW. He requested the central Government to delegate the power of environmental clearance to State Government to expedite the power generation process in the state.
He insisted to continue the subsidy on LPG cylinders due to higher fuel requirements in the in high altitude areas and said that in absence of LPG subsidy, the demand of fuel wood would increase leading to extra pressure on forest wealth. He also requested to revive the industrial package of the Himachal Pradesh and suggested that hilly backward areas of the neighboring states could also be included in the new industrial package on the basis of tough geographical conditions similar to Himachal Pradesh.

He said that Himachal has been ranked as third on human development indicators by Union Government and added that the state had achieved 83.78% literacy rate. Besides, the State Government proposes to make right of secondary education during twelfth plan with an object to universalize the access to secondary educations.

Chief Minister Shri Virbhadra Singh told that infant mortality rate would be brought down to 22/1000 from existing level of 40/1000 and hundred percent institutional deliveries would be achieved in Government health institutions in the plan period. He said that so far 2.07 lakh persons had been benefited through 108 ambulance service introduced through NHRM in the state. He requested the Prime Minister to upgrade Tanda Medical College to the status of AIIMS, new Delhi and said that demand of specialists, physicians and other trained medical professionals would be met through three medical colleges of the state. He requested the Union Government to provide more fiscal autonomy to the states and provide flexibility while implementing centrally sponsored schemes and other flagship programmes keeping in mind the local conditions.

He suggested for incorporation of special chapter to elaborate strategy for development of northern hill states on the analogy of north eastern states and also requested for enhancement of Gross Budgetary support to all special category states alike and to provide uniform funding pattern in the ratio of 90:10 for all special category states. He urged the Union Government to compensate the Himalayan states for conserving ecology and said that the State would review the forest policy to ensure that natural resources were not over exploited and livelihood of those people who depend on forest resources are not adversely affected. He requested for raising the financial allocation of the state to meet its developmental needs.

Chief Minister Shri Virbhadra Singh welcomed the Union Government’s decision of direct cash subsidy and told that entire population of the state would be covered under the scheme in phased manner. He said that State Government would follow policy of zero- tolerance towards corruption and clean, transparent and accountable administration would be provided to the people. He said that e-governance would be utilised to ensure timely and effective redressal of public grievances.
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Press note: Information & Public Relation, HP Govt.

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Himachal: Cloudbursts, Landslides Claim 9 Lives in 48 Hours, 7 Still Missing, Met Issues Alert Till August 1st  

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monsoon damage in himachal pradesh 2021

Shimla-Monsoon continues to pummel Himachal Pradesh with deadly ferocity, leading to more cloudbursts, landslides, and flash floods. Several rivers and rivulets are in spate. Incessant rains could bring more destruction as the HP Meteorological Department has forecast widespread heavy rains till August 1st. While a red alert was issued for July 28, an orange alert has been issued for July 29 and July 30 and a yellow alert for July 31st and August 1st.

An advisory has been issued for locals and tourists to not venture near the river banks and avoid unnecessary travel as incessant rains could lead to more landslides, flash floods, and uprooting of trees.  However, tourists could be seen resolutely ignoring these warnings and partying near river banks and water bodies.

As devastation unfolds, the death toll due to monsoon induced calamities has reached nearly 200, while damages to property were assessed to be in hundreds of crores. Over 350 roads, including Manali-Leh, Pathankot-Chamba, and Shimla-Kalka, were blocked due to landslides.  Half a dozen bridges, as many as 30 houses and several vehicles were destroyed. Hundreds of tourists were reportedly struck in Lahaul.

lahaul-spiti cloudburst

After a flash flood in Dharamshala, a massive landslide in Shahpur constituency, and a horrid rockslide in Kinnaur district that killed nine tourists and injured four people, a cloudburst triggered a flash flood in Lahaul-Spiti district on Tuesday that washed away over a dozen of people, who were said to be labourers.  

cloudburst in lahaul-spiti

According to the Director of the State Disaster Management, Sudesh Kumar, at the time of writing this report, seven bodies had been recovered while four others were missing. The cloudburst occurred over Tonzin nallah in the Lahaul region of the tribal district. Rescue operations were in progress to trace missing persons.

A team of the National Disaster Response Force, which was on its way to Lahaul-Spiti through road, remained stuck in Mandi for several hours.  

On Wednesday morning, cloudburst was reported in Kullu district resulting in deluging of Bhramhaganga – a tributary of Parvati river. A  tourist, a 25-year-old mother along with her 4-year-old son, and a hydropower official came in its spate and were yet to be traced. Beas river was also in spate and people living in shanties on its bank were evacuated. 

Beas in spate

Rackham area in Kinnaur district also reported heavy losses due to a cloudburst on Wednesday morning.

While a rockslide killed one person in Chamba’s Saluni, a helper tagged with a JCB deployed for clearing Bharmaur-Pathankot National Highway was swept away by gushing waters of a nullah on Tuesday night. His body was recovered on Wednesday.

In Shimla, a landslide between Vikasnagar and Panthaghati crushed a vehicle and caused damaged to some others. Gumma khud in Chirgaon was also in spate and reportedly swept away a bridge and about four vehicles. 

landslide in shimla crushed car

Dharamsala received the highest 122 mm of rain, followed by Una 119 mm. In Solan district, Kasauli and Nalagarh also received over 105 mm rain. 

This widespread destruction has worried climatologists and environmentalists who are linking increased instances of landslides and cloudburst to environmental degradation and destabilization of hills due to developmental projects, including cutting of hills for widening of roads, construction of four lanes, hydropower projects etc. 

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Kinnaur: Massive Landslide Caught on Camera, Kills 9 Tourists, Injures 4, Destroys Bailey Bridge

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kinnaur landslide in batseri

Kinnaur: A massive landslide in Batseri on Sangla-Chitkul road in the Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh on Sunday killed nine persons and injured at least four others. Huge boulders rolled down the mountain following the landslide and destroyed an iron Bailey bridge and many vehicles parked along the road within a few seconds.

A tourist vehicle, which was reportedly carrying about 11 tourists from Delhi NCR, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, and Chattisgarh, was hit by boulders near Gunsa, killing nine tourists. A couple of videos of this heart-wrenching incident went viral on social media. In the video, some people can be heard whistling and shouting to warn others.

“Nine people died, and three were injured after boulders rolled downhill due to a landslide in Kinnaur district. Batseri bridge collapsed in the incident. A rescue team is present at the spot,” Superintendent of Police (SP), Kinnaur, Saju Ram Rana said.

The intensity with which boulders hit could be assessed from the fact that the iron bailey bridge on the Baspa river collapsed instantly. 

Video of landlside in himachal pradesh

On receiving the information, teams of district police and Indo-Tibetan Border Police rushed to the spot and initiated a rescue operation. The district administration was also assessing the situation. As per reports, rocks sliding down from the hilltop made the rescue operation difficult for the teams.

sangla valley landslide

As per initial reports, a request was made to make a helicopter available to aid rescue work, which was yet to be fulfilled.

landslide in himachal pradesh

Chief Minister Jairam Thakur also expressed grief over the incident. An ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh was announced for the deceased while injured would be given Rs. 50 thousand.

The exact cause behind the landslide was yet to be ascertained.

The deceased were identified as:

  1. Pratiksha Sunil Patil (27) from Sadhbhawna Nagar, Nagpur, Maharashtra
  2. Deepa Sharma (34) from Jaipur
  3. Amoghi Bapat (27) from Korba Darri in Chhatisgarh
  4. Umrab Singh (42) of Tagore Garden West Delhi
  5. Kumar Ulhas vedpathak (37)
  6. Anurag Biyani (31) from Sikar in Rajasthan, his mother Maya Devi Biyani (55) and his sister Richa Biyani (25)
  7. Satish Katakbar (34) from Chhatisgarh.

Those injured have been identified as Shiril Obroy (39) from West Delhi, Naveen Bhardwaj (37) from Kaharar in Mohali and Ranjeet Singh (45) from Batseri in Sangla.

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Himachal Reports Rise in Covid Deaths, No Vaccine for 18-44 Age Group Till July 22

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vaccination of youth in himachal pradesh

Shimla-Himachal Pradesh has reported a rise in daily casualties during the last three days. While 437 new cases were detected, 10 persons succumbed to the infection. in the last three days. According to the HP Health Department, state’s positivity rate for the last week – from July 5-July 11- was 1.0. Compared to a total of eight deaths in the entire week, Himachal has reported 10 deaths in the last three days of the ongoing week.

The State’s Covid death tally has now reached 3486. The number of active cases was 1150 on Thursday. The daily sampling remains between ten 10,000 to 15,000.

The state government has further discontinued vaccination for the 18-44 age group till 22 July. However, vaccination of other groups will continue. 

Himachal’s tourist spots continue to receive a large number of visitors daily. During the last month, after the HP government lifted all restrictions on inter-state movement, tourists had been over-crowding popular tourist destinations, especially Dharamshala, Shimla, and Manali, to such an extent that the Union Health Ministry, as well as, the Prime Minister had to warn states over the violation of guidelines regarding the “Covid-Appropriate Behavior”.

As both locals and tourists were observed to have become carefree and caring a little about social distancing or creating large gatherings, the state government on July 14 issued a fresh advisory to follow the “Covid-19 Appropriate Behavior” (CAB) to mitigate the third wave.

However, a widespread lack of awareness has been reported, due to which the public is not taking the warnings of the third wave and CAB guidelines seriously.  

In several instances, the state government found itself helpless in preventing large gatherings and violation of CAB guidelines. Over-crowded buses and carriage vehicles, for instance, is a common scene against the permitted capacity of 50%. The health experts had been insisting that successful implementation of SOPs at the mass level is not possible without the co-operation of the people. However, the current methods of the state government for creating awareness has failed to appeal to the majority of the people, which is making compliance of guidelines next to impossible. 

 

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