• Emphasizes for construction of tunnels in hilly regions
• Presides over two-day workshop on challenges of the Geological Hazards
Chief Minister Thakur Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu said that the state government was contemplating to enforce stringent laws to ensure the safety of its citizens from natural calamities. The government will make laws regarding permission for structural engineering, limit of land to withstand the weight and effective drainage system and appealed to people to support the government in its initiative. He added that in order to minimize the loss of human lives and property due to the disaster, there was a need to amend the law and human approach towards the preservation of ecology as well. The only way to prevent disasters and large-scale destruction is to respect nature and promote a lifestyle that strikes an effective balance between development and nature.
The Chief Minister stated this while inaugurating a two-day workshop on Challenges of the Geological Hazards, particularly the earthquakes and landslides over the western Himalayan region of Himachal Pradesh here today. He said that Himachal had to suffer colossal losses during the monsoon season accompanied by floods, cloudbursts, landslides and excessive release of water at critical hours from the reservoirs. Though the state has witnessed rains since April this year, the torrential downpours during the months of July and August caused heavy loss to precious lives and both public and private property across the state. He asserted that human greed and exploitation of our environs were among various other reasons behind the devastation. The people constructed their houses along the streams and the river banks and did not pay any heed to the structural engineering, he said.
There was a need to study the reasons behind cloud bursts which occurred in numbers this year, adding that global warming also contributed towards the changing pattern of the climate as even district Kinnaur and the cold desert of Lahaul and Spiti experienced rains whereas such a phenomenon was rarely witnessed before.
He said that the responding quick to the situation, the government restored the temporary electricity, water and telephone network within 48 hours to give the much-needed relief and even pushed in the machinery to restore the road connectivity so that the agriculturalists and horticulturalists would not face any difficulty in transporting their produce to the markets.
The State was within the seismic zone and quite prone to the earthquakes as well and we should also prepare ourselves accordingly, he said, adding that the Centre government has accorded permission for setting up two Doppler Radars in Lahaul and Spiti and Kinnaur which would help in early warning detection of weather.
The Chief Minister stressed on constructing tunnels to avoid incidents of frequent landslides in hilly regions. He said that tunnels were being constructed in Matour- Shimla four-lane whereas 90 degree cutting of hills for construction of Solan –Parwanoo four-lane caused heavy incidents of landslides. He emphasized to identify the places where incidents of landslides were being observed repeatedly, adding that effective steps should be taken to address the bottlenecks.
He lauded the efforts of the State Disaster Management Authority and HIMCOSTE for organizing the seminar and said that appropriate steps would be taken from the inputs received.
The Chief Minister also flagged off three vehicles carrying blankets and ration sponsored by Lions Club International Foundation.
Earlier, Principal Secretary, Revenue, Onkar Sharma welcomed the Chief Minister and detailed about the objective of the workshop.
Special Secretary, Revenue DC Rana also gave a detailed presentation on the geological hazards and the steps to be taken to mitigate the same.
MLAs Inder dutt Lakhanpal, Vinod Sultanpuri, Sudarshan Babloo, Ajay Solanki, Bhuvneshwar Gaur, Principal Media Advisor to CM, Naresh Chauhan, Chief Secretary, Prabodh Saxena, and senior officers attended the workshop.