SHIMLA 14th August, 2023
Chief Minister Thakur Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu took stock of the situation in the landslide-hit area of Summerhill in Shimla today. He supervised the relief and rescue operations for over one and a half hour and directed the officials to speed up the rescue operation. Along with the Army, SDRF, NDRF, ITBP, Police, Home Guard jawans and local people were involved tirelessly in relief and rescue works.
Talking to the media persons, the Chief Minister said that there was a gathering in the Lord Shiva temple at the time of incident as it was the last Monday of the holy month of Sawan. He added that many people are feared to be caught under the debris due to heavy landslide. The work of removing the debris in search of people was underway and five bodies had been recovered so far.
Sh. Sukhu said that the entire state was dealing with a grim situation as cloudbursts and landslides had hit many parts of the State, resulting in heavy loss of life and property. “I pay tribute to those killed and want to assure the affected families that the state government stands with them in this hour of calamity. All the affected families would be provided all possible help by the state government,” the Chief Minister stated.
He further said that the state was still dealing with the aftermath of the destruction caused due to the incessant rains a month ago during July 7 to 11. The recent spate of rains has once again brought significant challenges as heavy loss to life and property is being registered. The CM stated that due to the fresh spell of heavy rains across the state, 21 people had reportedly lost their lives till 11 am on Monday. He feared that the toll could increase further as many people were still caught up in the debris in various parts of the state. He, however, assured that the state government was constantly monitoring the situation and doing its best to safely evacuate the stranded people.
The Chief Minister added that from the last 48 hours he has been in touch with the Deputy Commissioners of all the districts and was taking constant updates about the situation and ongoing relief and rescue works. He further said that all the district administrators, and concerned officials and institutions have been instructed to remain alert as the water level of the rivers in the state has been increasing. He advised the citizens to stay away from rivers and drains.
After taking stock of the relief and rescue work in Summerhill, Thakur Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu reached Fagli, where four people lost their lives due to a landslide, while five people were saved.
During his visit to the disaster-hit areas, the Chief Minister spoke to the relatives of the deceased and consoled them.
Deputy Chief Minister Mukesh Agnihotri, Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr. (Col.) Dhani Ram Shandil, Public Works Minister Vikramaditya Singh, Chief Parliamentary Secretary Mohan Lal Brakta, MLA Harish Janartha, DC Shimla Aditya Negi, SP Sanjeev Gandhi and other administrative officers were also present at the disaster-hit site.
Earlier, the Chief Minister held a meeting with Chief Secretary Prabodh Saxena, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Bharat Kheda, Home Secretary Dr. Abhishek Jain and Special Secretary Revenue DC Rana at his official residence Oak Over to discuss the situation arising due to the heavy rains. He directed that bailey bridges should be used to restore the closed roads immediately and provide all possible help to the affected.