Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Thakur Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu, currently on a two-day visit to Shimla district for on-site assessment of the damages caused by torrential rains, visited the Chopal assembly constituency today. During his visit, he assured affected families of the State Government’s commitment to extending all possible assistance.

CM Sukhu directed the district administration and local officials to promptly provide aid to affected families. He urged the public works department to expedite the process of restoring roads through short-term tenders. This move aims to ensure smooth transportation of produce to markets and ease the burden on farmers.

The Chief Minister’s proactive approach also includes considering an increase in the rate of scald apples, benefiting apple growers further. Furthermore, he announced a substantial budget allocation of Rs. 70 crore for the reinforcement of the Chhaila-Yashwant Nagar road. This road, often referred to as a lifeline, serves as an alternate route connecting Solan and Chandigarh.

CM Sukhu emphasized the State Government’s continuous efforts to restore road connectivity in apple-growing regions. An allocation of Rs. 110 crore has already been directed towards rejuvenating link roads, which were severely damaged by recent natural calamities.

In light of the devastating impact on the Kudi village due to heavy rains, CM Sukhu directed officials to shift the village’s location and provide financial support for rebuilding houses. He also assured the affected families of the State’s assistance in the form of compensation.

The Chief Minister acknowledged the dedication of Industries Minister Harshwardhan Chauhan and Education Minister Rohit Thakur, who have been consistently visiting affected areas in Shimla district and providing updates.

The recent havoc caused by torrential rains has led to losses of approximately Rs. 8000 crore in Himachal Pradesh. CM Sukhu described this as the most significant catastrophe witnessed in the last 50 years across the State. Despite inheriting substantial debt from the previous administration, the State Government is committed to allocating necessary funds for families affected by nature’s fury.

CM Sukhu also highlighted plans to install retaining walls for permanent road stabilization. Additionally, he revealed that around 300 houses in the Chopal area suffered partial or complete damage due to the calamity. The Chief Minister instructed the administration to provide immediate relief to partially damaged houses.

The central team’s recent visit to the State to assess damages has boosted hopes for an interim relief installment from the Union Government. CM Sukhu also discussed pending funds of Rs. 315 crore under the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) due to audit objections. He informed that Rs. 189 crore of this amount has been released, and the State urges the remaining sum’s swift release.

Notably, the compensation for partially damaged houses has been increased to Rs. one lakh. Furthermore, the State Government is considering proposals to enhance compensation for completely damaged houses.

CM Sukhu’s efforts have earned appreciation from various quarters, including HPCC General Secretary Rajneesh Kimta, who thanked him for his support to affected individuals and funds for restoration projects. The Chief Minister concluded his visit by paying homage at Kaleshwari Mata Temple in Diyundar, Chopal. Education Minister Rohit Thakur, Chief Parliamentary Secretary Mohan Lal Brakta, MLA Balbir Verma, and other dignitaries joined the occasion.

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