Natural disasters took 218 lives in HP, Govt blames global warming & relentless tunneling

Shimla, Aug 4
Himachal Pradesh Revenue Minister Mahinder Singh Thakur stated in the assembly on Wednesday that climate change, global warming and relentless tunneling in the power projects are wreaking havoc during monsoon season.
Minister was replying to a discussion under Rule 130 on climate change on the 3rd day of the ongoing monsoon session, accepted that massive landslides are occuring, stone and boulders are causing massive damage to properties and lives and cloudbourts are wreaking havoc in state washing down the fertile lands, public assets, privates houses and cow sheds.
Minister said that the way temperature is rising due to the phenomenon of Global warming, torrential rainfall in such a volume is wreaking  havoc in the hills. Warning the members to sound caution in their respective assembly constituencies the Minister said that in this month most landslides and flash floods occurred in the state. He said that
glaciers are thawing rapidly due to global warming and it is causing flash floods in  tribal areas and  raising the water level on rivers.
Minister said that climatic changes is showing changing trends as cloud bursts mainly occur in the high reaches now causing devastation in the mid hills and foothills.
Minister said that climatic change has perhaps prolonged dry spell and draught conditions also, as mid and foot hills recorded deficient rain which has caused massive damage to agriculture and
In the year 2020 and 2021,  800 to 900 water supply schemes were reported deficient  He said that report compiled by Revenue department till june, 2021 displayed that hailstorm and drought affected crops of Rs 440 Crore in the lowline areas.
Minister said that number of power projects and relentless tunneling shocking the hills which is responsible for large number of natural disasters occuring in Kinnuar district. He said that Lahaul Spiti recent recorded loss of Rs 52 Crore in two days of rainfall.
He informed the house that as many as 218 people have died while 12 persons are still missing in heavy rains in state.  He said that  nearly 500 livestocks and 1,152 houses, shops and cowsheds have also been damaged in the monsoon season since 13 June this year.
“The highest number of casualties has been reported in Shimla with 34 deaths, followed by Kangra (25), Sirmaur (23), Chamba (21),
Mandi (19), Lahaul-Spiti (18), Kullu (17), Solan (16), Una, Kinnaur (13 each), Bilaspur (12) and Hamirpur (5) in the period from 13 June to 3 August, he added.
Besides, several roads, bridges, water supply and irrigation schemes have suffered damage in flash floods and landslides that were caused by heavy rains,” he added.
He stated that the state government has so far suffered a loss of Rs 451.56 crores to roads and bridges while water supply and irrigation schemes had suffered a loss of Rs 187 crore. Minister said that a master plan is being proposed by the department to provide the relief to the affected people so that loss caused by the natural disasters could be averted . However, states have to
take the permission of centre to approve such rehabilitation plans and DPR if the cost of the project is more than Rs 70 Crore.
The natural and public resources are also being affected due to the catastropic incidents. It is not easy to divert lands to affected people as the forest conservation act is a major rider in the way.
Earlier starting the debate, Barsar MLA Inderdutt Lakhanpal said global warming was causing serious concerns as sometimes it results in drought-like situations and sometimes heavy rains.
It further led to drying of traditional water sources and small rivers and rivulets, he said while urging the state government to provide adequate compensation to farmers whose crops had been destroyed in the rains.
Kinnaur MLA Jagat Singh Negi raised the issue of loss to crops in Lahaul Spiti district as they weren’t able to transport these to markets on time. He alleged that the situation was not properly handled by the state government and the administration after the cloudburst in Udaipur subdivision of Lahaul-Spiti district.
Vishal Nehriya, Balbir Singh Verma and Jiya Lal also spoke on the impact of climate change on the people especially on the agriculturists and horticulturists.


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