Central team to tour rain-ravaged Himachal: Pratibha Singh

New Delhi, July 11 (IANS) A central team will tour rain-ravaged parts of Himachal Pradesh to assess the damage, Mandi MP Pratibha Singh said Thursday.

The central team, led by joint secretary (home) Veena Kumari Meena, will conduct an on-the-spot assessment of the damage in last month's heavy rain, Singh told reporters after meeting union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde here.

She said the team comprises officials from the ministries of agriculture, finance, road transport and highways and rural development as well as the Planning Commission.

"The state government will be showing sector-wise damages with financial loss to each sector to the central team," she added.

A day before meeting Shinde, Pratibha Singh called on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and sought central assistance of Rs.1,000 crore as calamity relief. She had apprised the prime minister of the initial estimates that put the loss to the state from the heavy rains at Rs.2,575 crore.

Incessant rainfall in the region June 16-17 triggered massive landslides that blocked many roads in Kinnaur district.

In her meeting with Shinde, Pratibha Singh said that 10,000 head of cattle and other domestic animals have also perished in the flash floods and 1,000 houses and 2,120 roads were severely damaged.

The newly-elected Lok Sabha member, who is wife of Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, told the home minister that landslides had badly affected the state's tourism sector, and the state required huge investments in infrastructure sector to bring complete normalcy in the region.

Shinde assured her that the government would provide all possible assistance to the state.


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