Shimla, Aug 8 (IANS) Monsoon rains have claimed 20 lives in Himachal Pradesh and the damage to property is estimated at Rs 380 crore, the government said on Tuesday.
The maximum loss of Rs 291 crore was caused due to damage to roads, bridges and culverts, Additional Chief Secretary Tarun Sridhar said at a review meeting that was presided over by Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh here.
A Revenue Department official said Rs 64 crore had been released for restoration work.
Sridhar said during the monsoon season, a total 173 deaths occurred in the state, out of which 20 were due to flash floods, landslides and cloud burst. The remaining 153 deaths were from road accidents.
He said 280 roads were damaged and blocked in the last two-three days, out of which 200 were reopened.
The Chandigarh-Manali and Chandigarh-Shimla national highways were affected a number of times this monsoon owing to massive landslides.
According to the Met office here, the rains were 55 per cent more than normal this month in the state. However, there is still six per cent deficit during the monsoon season.
The weather bureau has predicted heavy to very heavy rainfall at some places in the state till weekend.
The Chief Minister directed the Public Works Department to reopen all roads on priority and directed the Public Health Department to conduct drives for prevention of epidemics and water-borne diseases.
He told the Deputy Commissioners that tourists and other public should be stopped at the district headquarters whenever any major road got blocked.