Monsoon mayhem in Himachal Pradesh: 2,200 houses damaged, Rs 8,100 crore loss incurred | Shimla News

SHIMLA: The revenue department presented a comprehensive report before the Himachal Pradesh Cabinet on Tuesday on disaster management and the significant losses incurred to public and private properties due to the massive devastation caused by heavy monsoon rains.
It was reported that the state has suffered a revenue loss of around Rs 8,100 crore until Monday, with 346 people losing their lives during the season, while 38 people are still missing. The state has seen 2,200 houses fully damaged, along with the loss of 9,930 poultry birds and 6,088 cattle in rain-related incidents.
During a media briefing about the cabinet decisions, industries minister Harshvardhan Chauhan and Education Minister Rohit Thakur, under the chairmanship of Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu, expressed grief and paid tribute to those who lost their lives due to the extensive damage caused by heavy monsoon rains.
Harshvardhan Chauhan mentioned that as part of the massive restoration efforts under MNREGS, the Cabinet has decided to increase the wage rates under MGNREGS from Rs 224 to Rs 240 in non-tribal areas and from Rs 280 to Rs 294 in tribal areas, effective from August 15th onwards.
He further stated that the state government had already decided to utilize MNREGS for the restoration and repair of private houses. Panchayats have been authorized to approve Rs one lakh through the Deputy Commissioners for private house repairs and walls. Labor will also be engaged under MGNREGS for these tasks, and the increased wages will provide assistance to those affected by the disaster.
In an effort to bolster state revenue during this challenging time, the cabinet also made the decision to rationalize the tariff of water cess imposed on hydro-power projects for water usage. Chauhan explained that following the imposition of the water cess, hydro-power developers had engaged with the chief minister. This led to the formation of a committee headed by the Power Secretary to adjust the rates. The revised rates have now been aligned with those of Uttarakhand, resulting in an expected income of Rs 2000 crore for the state.
The Cabinet also decided to amend the Swaran Jayanti Energy Policy, extending the MoU duration to 40 years. The royalty structure will involve 15 percent for the initial 12 years, 20 percent for the subsequent 18 years, and 30 percent for the final 10 years. Afterward, the project will revert to the State Government without any costs or encumbrances. However, the extended royalty payable to the State will not be less than 50 percent.
Furthermore, the Cabinet opted to withdraw the relaxation granted for staggered free power royalty to SJVNL and NHPC for the 210 MW Luhri Stage-I, 66 MW Dhaulasidh, 382 MW Sunni Dam, and 500 MW Dugar Hydro Electric Projects with immediate effect.

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