Choppers belonging to the Western Air Command carried out over 50 sorties over the last 48 hours, rescuing over 780 citizens in the flood-affected areas of Kangra district in Himachal Pradesh, Indian Air Force officials informed on August 16.
Speaking on the ongoing relief and rescue operations in Fatehpur sub-division of Kangra district, Deputy Commissioner, Kangra, Nipun Jindal, told media, “A total of 800 trapped civilians were rescued on August 15. Further rescue operations are underway with the help of NDRF, the Indian Army and the Indian Air Force. All necessary arrangements have been made for those rescued so far. Relief camps have also been set up for them.”
On August 16, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu conducted an aerial survey of the flood-hit regions of Indora and Fatehpur in the Kangra district.
He took stock of the ongoing evacuation efforts in the flooded downstream of Pong Reservoir and other relief works. Interacting with people in relief camps at Damtal and Shekhpura, the CM enquired about their well-being while assuring them of all possible assistance from the Government.
He also expressed concern over the loss of lives and material damage wrought by heavy rains and flooding in the state’s upper reaches.
Sukhu said colossal damage has been caused to public and private properties. Scores of locals helplessly saw their homes being washed away while vast areas under harvest have been submerged under water, leading to untold losses to farmers.
“I assure you of a special package, especially for these areas, including compensation and relief materials,” the chief minister said.
He directed the administration to make sure that people sheltered in relief camps are properly cared for.
Apart from providing free lodging and boarding, the health department has also deputed medical teams to take care of children, elders besides others, officials informed.
The Chief Minister also directed officials to ensure sufficient stock of eateries and essential medicines for relief operations.
The toll from rain-related incidents over the last three days has been pegged at 71, officials said on August 16.
Speaking to the media, Onkar Chand Sharma, principal secretary, Disaster Management, said incessant rainfall from August 13-15 has claimed a total of 71 lives while the net fiscal loss this monsoon has been estimated at about Rs 7,500 crore.
“More damage was wrought on August 13,14 and 15 than the entire month of July. The net loss to property and public infrastructure has been estimated at Rs 7,500 crore. This estimate might be revised going forward as rescue and relief operations are still in progress and a detailed estimate will take time,” Sharma said.
(with inputs from ANI)