AICC leader Priyanka Gandhi Urges centre to declare Himachal Rain disaster a ‘National Calamity’
Manali, Sept 12
AICC General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, during her visit to rain-affected regions in Kullu, Manali, and Mandi districts, has called upon the Union Government to declare Himachal Pradesh’s recent rain disaster a national calamity, emphasizing the need for equitable support to all states, regardless of their political affiliation.
Vadra interacted with affected residents and witnessed the extensive devastation caused by the recent rains. She highlighted the state’s inability to compensate for the losses incurred and urged the Union Government to step in immediately. The magnitude of the disaster has stretched state resources thin, leaving them insufficient to address the crisis adequately.
Furthermore, Vadra expressed concerns about the treatment of apple growers by the central government. She criticized the reduction in import duty on U.S. apples from 35 percent to 15 percent, a move that adversely affects the interests of Himachal Pradesh’s apple growers. She also raised alarm over corporate houses attempting to monopolize apple prices in the state, posing a threat to local farmers.
Acknowledging the generous contributions of the people of Himachal Pradesh to the state’s calamity relief fund, Vadra stressed that central government support is imperative to bridge the gap.
Supporting Vadra’s call for a national calamity declaration, Chief Minister Sukhu also acknowledged that during his recent meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the G-20 dinner ceremony, also raised the issue and received assurance from the Prime Minister regarding necessary action.
AICC leader Vadra’s visit to the flood-affected areas in Manali, Kullu, Mandi, and Solan was accompanied by party General Secretary Rajiv Shukla and Congress State Chief Pratibha Singh, among others.
The state is facing an unprecedented natural disaster, and the appeal for national calamity status underscores the urgency of a unified response to aid the affected residents and the region’s apple growers. So far State has incurred losses worth more than around 9000 crores, leaving 466 dead and 427 injured behind. Thousands of people (2575 fully damaged & 10965 partially damaged houses) have lost their houses in the rain disaster(s).
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