Shimla: The State Government would be carrying out the identification of heritage villages and explore insurance possibilities to preserve the rich cultural heritage for future generations. This was revealed by Prof. Prem Kumar Dhumal, Chief Minister, in his address to the fire victims of Solang heritage village in Kullu valley where he reached to share the grief and agony of the families who had lost their ancestral and heritage possessions, including houses, which were raised to ashes by a devastating fire which engulfed the entire village yesterday due to electric short circuit.
Chief Minister said that during past several years a number of heritage villages had lost their identity due to devastating fire causing immense loss to the valuable possessions of the villagers besides wiping out the heritage structures which in itself were the monuments of traditional hilly architecture. He said that the Malana village happened to be one of such villages which had been devastated by the fire, depriving heritage lovers, scholars and foreigners of the pleasure of visiting such villages in the state. He said that all out efforts were being made to restore the original hilly structures in Malana village by providing affected families all possible help from the government side.
Prof. Dhumal said that the state government would be endeavouring to identify the villages which were historical and of heritage importance and explore possibilities to provide insurance cover in participation with the residents of such villages so that any such accidents were averted and villages were protected from loosing their identity. He urged the villagers to change their life style and avoid stocking of animal fodder inside and near to their residential houses which fuel the fire and lead to such unfortunate events. He advised them to get their electrical wiring done in a proper and safe manner so that in case of any short circuit etc. the life and property was protected.
Chief Minister said that the state government would consider reconstruction of the ravaged houses under Atal Awas Yojna and directed the district authorities to prepare a detailed project report for implementation on priority after observing all codal formalities. He said that best efforts would be made to start the construction work at the earliest possible. He said that the total loss due to fire was likely to be Rs. 5 crore and the final evaluation of the loss was being carried out by the revenue authorities.
Prof. Dhumal said that Solang village would be connected with motorable road on priority and a bridge constructed over the Solang nallah. He said that Rs. 25,000 were being provided to the affected families who had lost their entire house and possessions in the fire and Rs. 10,000 to those who were partially affected. He said that besides blankets and tarpaulins, free ration would be provided to the affected families for next two months by the state government. He
said that tin sheets would also be made available to the families on priority to raise their temporary shelters.
Chief Minister informed that Sai Engineering Foundation would be providing 500 blankets to the villagers with one truck load of essential commodities and Allain Duhangan Project authorities also promised one truck load of tin sheets for the villagers while Himalayan Power Corporation, assured of free power supply to the village. He thanked all the donors and said that more organizations were coming forward to lend their helping hand to overcome the agony and rehabilitate the affected families at the earliest. He assured villagers of all possible help from the state government.
Prof. Dhumal said that more help would be pouring in from different organizations to help in carrying out relief and rehabilitation of affected families in a speedy way so that normalcy could return to the village. He thanked the NGOs, local people, volunteers, armed forces stationed in the valley and every one who rendered valuable service in carrying out the relief and rescue operation in the village effectively. He lauded the efforts of the district administration for promptly rising to the emergency call and carrying out relief and rehabilitation work in an effective manner, saving precious lives and property of the people. He also listened to the grievances of the affected families and consoled them with necessary steps to deliver them prompt relief.
Gobind Thakur, local MLA, apprised the Chief Minister of various steps initiated by the local administration in association with local people to deliver relief to the affected families and urged liberal assistance to them for their rehabilitation.