Chief Minister Thakur Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu today flagged off the Citizen Solidarity March organized by the State Disaster Management Authority on the occasion of International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction from Oak Over. The march concluded at the Ridge.
The Chief Minister said that awareness was necessary to deal effectively with disasters as challenges can be faced boldly if one has the right information about the type and intensity of the catastrophe. We should also be ready to face any kind of calamity including the earthquakes in near future, said the Chief Minister.
The people of Himachal have faced stood firm facing the calamity of the decade unitedly, said Sh. Sukhu. He thanked the people of the State for coming forward and donating generously towards the noble cause and revealed that so far about Rs. 222 crore has been received in the Disaster Relief Fund set up to help the disaster affected people. He appreciated the initiatives of the small children who donated from their piggy banks and also expressed gratitude towards the government employees, pensioners, MLAs and every section of the society who contributed voluntarily as per their ability.
“I have never seen such a calamity in which more than 500 people died, more than 16,000 houses were damaged and property worth more than Rs 12,000 crore was damaged in the state” he said, adding that this was the worst disaster of the decade which badly has hit the State both socially and economically.
To provide the much needed relief the Government has issued a special relief package of Rs 4500 crore from its own resources, in which the compensation for a completely damaged house has been increased from Rs 1.30 lakh to Rs 7 lakh. Along with this, the state government will provide cement at the rate of Rs 280 per bag and free electricity-water connection facility to the affected people. He gave credit to his cabinet colleagues and other MLA’s who were involved in relief and rescue operations fighting adverse weather conditions.
The Chief Minister also inaugurated an exhibition at the Ridge showcasing the latest equipments to deal with disasters. Principal Secretary Revenue Onkar Chand Sharma, detailed regarding the program and the measures being adopted to aware the people through workshops and seminars till grass root level.
Revenue Minister Jagat Singh Negi, Chief Parliamentary Secretary, Sanjay Awasthi, MLA Nand Lal, Mayor Municipal Corporation, Surinder Chauhan and Deputy Mayor Uma Kaushal, Special Secretary Revenue D.C Rana and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.