The Congress Leader Advocates Declaring Himachal Crisis a National Disaster to Enable National Highway Restoration and State Recovery Efforts.
Congress leader and AICC General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi, during her visit to the flood-affected areas of Himachal Pradesh, paid her respects at the Shiv Temple in Shimla’s Summer Hill. This temple had witnessed a tragic landslide on August 14 that claimed the lives of 20 people. Gandhi highlighted the significance of declaring the Himachal crisis a national disaster and emphasized how such a declaration could aid the state.
Accompanied by Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu and other state ministers, Gandhi assessed the situation and met with the families of the victims.
In a statement to reporters, she expressed her empathy, saying, “The situation is very painful. People have suffered a great loss. We said yesterday too that everyone has to face this together.”
Himachal Pradesh has endured unprecedented losses due to heavy rains. The estimated losses have reached ₹8,600 crore, a figure Chief Minister Sukhu suggested could escalate to ₹12,000 crore. Tragically, 426 individuals have lost their lives in recent rain-related incidents, with 39 individuals still missing. Moreover, more than 2,575 houses have been completely destroyed, and 11,000 have sustained partial damage.
Gandhi commended the people of Himachal for their solidarity and mutual assistance during these challenging times. She also noted that the state government has initiated compensation efforts for the residents who have suffered losses.
She added, “If the Centre declares this a national disaster, it will significantly benefit the state. However, considering the Centre’s policies, it seems they may not fully comprehend the extent of destruction that Himachal has endured.”
Gandhi further revealed that Himachal Pradesh Congress Chief and MP Pratibha Singh aims to raise the issue of declaring the havoc caused by rainfall in Himachal as a national disaster during the upcoming special session of Parliament, scheduled to be held from September 18 to 22.