Shimla: Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu on Friday donated all his savings worth Rs 51 lakh to the state disaster relief fund to extend a helping hand to the people affected by natural calamities, according to a statement.
The chief minister and his wife Kamlesh Thakur presented a cheque of Rs 51 lakh to Chief Secretary Prabodh Saxena at their official residence here, the statement issued here said.
"I could well understand the pain of the people and their plight during the recent monsoon fury in which more than 260 precious lives were lost and many rendered homeless, besides suffering huge losses," he said.
Every section of society had voluntarily contributed towards the relief fund. Even children broke their piggy banks to help those in distress, the elders parted with their pension and the state government employees contributed generously from their salary to contribute towards the Aapda Raahat Kosh (disaster relief fund), he said.
Earlier, the governments of Bihar, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh had provided help to the tune of Rs 61 crore to the state to meet the relief and rehabilitation requirements. Besides temple trusts, NGOs and individuals have also come forward to help.
Heavy rains in the months of July and August have caused huge damage to the road infrastructure, water supply schemes, buildings and other private and public property.
As many as 272 people have died in rain-related incidents since the onset of monsoon on June 24 till September 14 and the state has suffered losses of Rs 8,680 crore as per the state emergency operation centre and the loss estimates are still pouring in.
The chief minister had claimed that the state has suffered losses of Rs 12,000 crores and urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to declare the calamity in Himachal as a national disaster.
Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, during her two-day visit to rain-affected areas of Kullu, Mandi and Shimla on July 12 and 13, had stated that the issue would be raised in the special session of Parliament.
Sukhu had also given away his one year's salary and contributed Rs 11 lakh towards the state relief fund during the COVID-19 pandemic, the statement said.