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Himachal: Drought-Like Conditions Hit Agriculture, Horticulture, Water Schemes, Water Crisis Looms Large in State



drough-like condition in himachal pradesh in april

Shimla-Agriculture and horticulture sectors in Himachal Pradesh have taken a severe hit due to an ongoing drought-like situation. The situation is also haunting the perennial water sources as levels in rivers and water reservoirs are depleting. With the rising temperature, this crisis, as per the official projections, is likely to rise during the coming months.

As of now, out of the total 413134 hectare cropped area, 146508 hectares of the area had been affected due to less rainfall in the state. It has caused an estimated loss to the tune of Rs. 10820.57 lakh.

As per the preliminary government data, Bilaspur district has reported the highest loss where 20280 hectares of land out of the total cropped area of 28020 hectares had been affected resulting in a loss of Rs. 3259.37 lakh.

The district has witnessed 63 per cent less rainfall from 1st March to 18th April this year. If the drought-like condition prevails, about 42 water supply schemes would get affected in the district. According to the official projections, the district is bound to witness a fodder crisis due to drought.

In district Chamba, 3571 hectares of land had been reported to be affected causing a loss of Rs. 815.58 lakh. Similarly, all other districts had also been affected due to scanty rainfall.

Deputy Commissioner Una Raghav Sharma, during a review meeting, had apprised the Chief Minister crops have taken a hit in the district and that Amb and Gagrat area were adversely affected due to the drought-like situation.

In view of the situation, Chief Secretary Anil Khachi has instructed the agriculture, horticulture and allied departments to prepare district-level action plans to readily mitigate such situation. Directions have been given to constitute crop weather watch groups. The agriculture department has been directed to prepare a sound database on weather, crop conditions to assist the state disaster management authority (SDMA).

“Presently drinking water supply was normal across the state however as per the information supplied by the districts agriculture sector had been affected due to scanty rainfall during this year,” Khachi said,

Further, scanty rainfall affected various schemes of Jal Shakti Vibhag. Out of the total 9526 schemes of the department, 401 schemes had been affected up to 25 percent, 197 schemes between 25 to 50 percent, 87 schemes between 50 to 75 percent and 28 schemes affected were more than 75 percent.  Jal Shakti Vibhag has been told to identify the water suppliers in the respective areas and fix the rates for transportation of drinking water as and where required.

Directions have been given to repair the dewatering hand pumps and maintain all the traditional as well as private water resources besides cleaning of natural water bodies and to make available adequate water sterilization tablets in each district.

Further, directions have been issued to sensitise the representatives of PRIs regarding water preservation and conservation methods.

So far, the government said, no district was facing fodder scarcity but the Animal Husbandry department has been directed to make a plan to deal with this situation, which is likely to arise soon.

Fear of water-borne diseases or epidemic due to the drought-like situation has brought worries for veterinary services too.


Himachal Reports Spike in Covid Casualties with 64 Deaths in 24-hours; 4,977 Fresh Infections Reported




Shimla-Himachal Pradesh reported a surge in Covid-19 fatalities on Tuesday as 64 people died due to the infection, while 4,977 new cases were reported within the last 24 hours. This takes the death toll to 1,989 while the total cases of coronavirus in the state till now to 1,40,759.

Out of 64 dead, only three patients had comorbidities. While thirteen patients were below the age of 50. This indicates the aggressive nature of the new variant of coronavirus that has been ravaging the country. The highest casualties were reported from Kangra district with 21 deaths while Solan district reported 12 deaths followed by Mandi district with 10 fatalities.

As the fatalities are increasing across the state, the sampling of infection has still not touched even the 20,000 mark. On Tuesday 14,722 people were sampled while 3,713 tests remain awaited.

View the District-wise Details of all COVID-19 Cases for May 11, 2021 (Till 7 pm) Below:

hp health dpt

Out of 2,445 beds available across the state in the Covid hospitals, only 63 ICU beds are available. While 415 beds have oxygen support.

On Tuesday the state government also issued a notification announcing that health workers who have received both the Covid vaccine shots will not have to follow the quarantine protocol after rendering their services in health care facilities.

On the condition of anonymity, a health official told Himachal Watcher that Himachal Medical Officers Association (HMOA) has opposed this move as cases of infection despite vaccination continue to appear.

The spike in Covid cases across the state has highlighted the shortage of healthcare workers in the state as medical infrastructure moves toward the brink of a formidable caseload.

Further, the state needs to consider the meagre incentives the frontline workers are receiving and the overwhelming effect it will have on their mental and physical health.

Himachal is currently under a corona curfew with restrictions on interstate movement. But the government maintains that it’s not a lockdown as some exceptions have been included in the activities to be allowed.

View the District-wise Details of all COVID-19 Deaths for May 11, 2021 (Till 7 pm) Below:

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Shimla City’s Sanitation Worker Dies of Covid-19, Demand Raised to Pay Rs. 50 Lakh Ex-Gratia as Assured to All Frontline Workers  



Shimla– Sanitation workers/garbage collectors in Himachal Pradesh are among the frontline workers who had been performing their duties unabated regardless of lockdowns. Right from the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, sanitation workers have been playing their part in combating it. The pandemic has grown deadlier this year with its second wave. Sanitation workers and garbage-collectors are at higher risk of contracting the infection due to the nature of their job. 

One of these sanitation workers, Sun Kumar, working under the Shimla Environment, Heritage & Beautification Society (SHEB) as a garbage collector, succumbed to Covid-19.

He was about 32-year-old and is survived by a wife and an infant. Demand has been raised to pay Rs. 50 lakh as Ex-Gratia and job to a family member. When the concerned authority was asked regarding the same, it said a request has been forwarded to higher officials for the Ex-Gratia and situation would be clear only after their approval. 

The former mayor of Shimla, Sanjay Chauhan, was one of those raising this demand.

“The city didn’t lose a sanitation worker but a Covid warrior due to the coronavirus,” he said in a statement released today.

“The government has recognized sanitation workers as frontline workers and had decided to pay Rs. 50 as Ex-Gratia to any such worker who dies on duty. So, the family should be paid the said amount at the earliest along with ensuring employment to one of the family members,” he demanded.

Pertinent to mention that on April 23, 2020, the Himachal Pradesh Government had announced that a sum of Rs. 50 lakhs would be paid as Ex-Gratia out of HPSDMA COVID-19 State Disaster Response Fund to the next of kin of those officers and officials working in the State Government (except health workers) i.e. regular, outsourced, contractual, daily wagers and employees of SEHB Society of Municipal Corporation Shimla engaged in sanitation activities and working in different capacities for the response, relief and containment measures of COVID-19, in case of their death due to COVID-19 pandemic.

Chauhan further appealed to the state government to provide high-quality PPE kits to all the frontline workers of various departments deployed on the Covid duty. He also demanded that the Municipal Corporation, Shimla, should also ensure regular health checkups of its employees to prevent any further loss of lives.   

The state on 17th January 2021 had vaccinated Hardeep Singh, a sanitation worker at the Indira Gandhi Medical Collage & Hospital, Shimla. He was the first person in Himachal to get the vaccine jab. Also, sanitation workers were also honoured last year and certificates of appreciation were given to workers of wards number 16 and 17. 

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Himachal: 53 Succumb to Severe Covid Symptoms in 24 Hours, Spike in Fatality Rate Among Patients With No Comorbidities





Shimla-On Monday, Himachal reported 4,359 new cases of coronavirus while 53 people succumbed to severe symptoms of infection. This took the state death toll to 1,925 and the total number of infections to 1,35,782 till now according to official data.

 Kangra district continues to report the highest numbers of daily deaths due to coronavirus. In the last 24 hours, the district reported 18 deaths. While the Solan district reported the second-highest casualties with eight deaths in the last 24-hours. The youngest patient to succumb to coronavirus was a 24-year-old man from the Solan district. The man died of sudden cardiopulmonary arrest with severe SARS COVID 19 Pneumonia according to official data. No other comorbidity was cited in the report.

About 16 of the deceased persons were aged below 50 years. According to the official statistics, at least 45 (84%) of the deceased had no comorbidities.

View the District-wise Details of all COVID-19 Cases for May 10, 2021 (Till 7 pm) Below:

dailly covid case himachal

Source: HP NHM

Meanwhile, in its recent press statement, a state government spokesperson said that the positivity rate of Covid-19 across the state has come out to be 26.3% in the last week. Districts of Kangra, Bilaspur, Hamirpur, Shimla, Mandi, Solan, and Sirmour have recorded a positivity rate of more than 20 percent from May 3 to May 9. 

In the last 24-hours, a total of 10,746 Covid testings was done across the state out of which 1,180 remains awaited.

Till now the state has conducted 16,33,923 sampling across the state however, the daily testing rate continues to fluctuate and remains below 20,000 tests per day.

Further, according to the government, by May 10, a total of 16,59,619 people had received the vaccine, out of which 38,0791 people had received both doses. Meanwhile, the state has gone under stricter corona curfew with restrictions imposed on interstate travelling as well.

View the District-wise Details of all COVID-19 Deaths for May 10, 2021 (Till 7 pm) Below:

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