68 dead in Himachal during monsoon

Shimla, Aug 17 (IANS) Sixty-eight people have lost their lives following cloudbursts and flashfloods in Himachal Pradesh this monsoon, with Chamba district recording the state’s maximum deaths at 24.

Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh was apprised in this regard on Monday at a meeting of the state management disaster authority, which he chaired.

It was decided to release Rs.100 crore to the worst-affected districts for restoration and relief operations, a government statement said.

Additional Chief Secretary Tarun Shridhar said Rs.2.72 crore was given as ex-gratia to the next of kin of those died in the natural calamity.

He said 2,395 buildings, including 1,210 houses, were damaged.

Shridhar said the total loss was estimated at Rs.628.86 crore.

The chief minister directed the public works department not to allow construction of structures or buildings along the river beds or seasonal rivulets.

The southwest monsoon hit the hill state on June 24.

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