Chief Minister Thakur Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu honoured the officers and departments who did a commendable job during the disasters and played an important role in relief and rescue operations. He was presiding over a function organised by the Himachal Pradesh State Disaster Management Authority (HPSDMA) on the occasion International Disaster Risk Reduction Day, here today. He lauded the efforts of HPSDMA for organizing an Annual Mass Awareness Campaign on Disaster Risk Reduction, Samarth, 2023, to create awareness online through digital modes, build capacities towards promoting disaster resilience in the State.

Lauding the efforts of officers and employees of various departments during the disaster he said that due to the collective efforts of the district administrations, 75 thousand people were evacuated safely and all essential services were temporarily restored within 48 hours after the disaster. The Chief Minister commended the efforts and co-operation provided by voluntary organizations and the people of the state who voluntarily offered their services in relief and rescue operations. Speaking on the changing weather pattern, the Chief Minister said that it has been noticed that the incidents of cloud bursts have increased in the past few years, and we need studying and research the varying climatic patterns and take adaptive measures in advance to mitigate the impact of such incidents.

The Chief Minister also gave his suggestion on the safe construction practices in Himachal Pradesh and launched IEC material prepared by HPSDMA, HIMCOSTE and by Central Building Research Institute, (CBRI) Rourkee. A MoU was also signed between CBRI, Rourkee and HIMCOSTE on earthquake resistant construction activities. As the state is already reeling under the debt of Rs. 75000 crore, the government was making earnest efforts to bring the State back on the track and was adopting innovative measures to raise its finances so as to provide relief to the disaster affected, reiterated the Chief Minister.

He said that despite the states share, nothing has been received from the centre in name of financial assistance. The Chief Minister also launched the School Safety Mobile App on this occasion which will be quite useful for the schools to make disaster management plans and organize mock drills accordingly. Sukhu also rewarded the winners of painting, slogan writing and quiz competitions on disaster management organised by HPSDMA across the State. Praising the stakeholders for commendable work during the disaster, Revenue Minister, Jagat Singh Negi said that though the State is burdened with a debt of Rs. 75 thousand crore, it was the bold decision taken by the Chief Minister to announce a special package of Rs. 45000 crore from the State’s own resources.

He also detailed about the amended relief package announced y the Government for the disaster affected people. Principal Secretary Revenue, Onkar Chand Sharma said that a special disaster awareness campaign was held from 1st October to 15th October to make people aware about disasters and for capacity building, at the grassroots level. He said that under this campaign, 146 street theater programs were organized all over the State. Special Secretary, Revenue, D.C. Rana welcomed the Chief Minister and other dignitaries present on the occasion.

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