Heavy rains caused massive damage to private and public property in Kangra district today. In the last 24 hours a loss of Rs 33 crores has been caused to public property and about Rs 60 lakh to private property.
Most of the damage to private property has been caused to kucha houses of poor people constructed right along the edge of mountains or rivulets. In public property the loss has been caused to national and state highways. Major roads in the district were either blocked due to landslides or due to caving in of portions of roads.
Deputy Commissioner Kangra Rakesh Prajapati said that ex gratia grant has been distributed to people whose houses have been damaged.
The people who houses have become unsafe have been shifted to government buildings or makeshift camps. In some cases, people have been injured due to collapse of their houses. They have been provided medical care.
Revenue officials have been asked to take care of expensive being incurred on their treatment.
As per the reports reaching at the district headquarters, the house of one Mast Ram in ward number 1 of Baijnath town was damaged as the earth underneath caved in due to heavy rains and an overflowing nullah near the house. The district administrative provided him an ex gratia grant of Rs 5,000.
The house of Vijay Kumar in Nagrota Bagwan area was damaged and rendered unsafe. The district administration gave him a grant of Rs 5,000. Another house of Balwant Singh in Daloon area of Nagrota Bagwan was damaged and he was provided relief of Rs 3,000.
Taro Devi, a resident of village Barota in Dehra sub division of Kangra district, was injured when a wall of her house collapsed. She was shifted to Dehra civil hospital. The district administration has provided the family immediate relief of Rs 5,000.
The current losses sustained by private persons in Kangra district have brought to the fore gross violations of rules and regulations in constructions of houses. Many people even in cities like Dharamsala have constructed houses right inside the beds of rivulets.
On main Matour-Palampur national highway commercial buildings such as hotels have been constructed right inside the riverbeds. These houses are vulnerable to damage in case of flash floods in rivers.
The IPH Department officials said even the river beds have private ownerships in Himachal.
The government has not framed any rules under which the department can stop people from constructing structures inside the riverbeds.
The irony is that even the riverbeds have not been defined and demarcated. It seems that only a catastrophe would wake the government up from its slumber, a senior official of IPH department said.
State yet to define riverbeds
IPH Department officials said even riverbeds have private ownerships in Himachal. The government has not framed any rules under which the department can stop people from constructing structures inside the riverbeds. The irony is that even the riverbeds have not been defined and demarcated.