Shimla: Heavy rain, snowfall, and cloud burst on 15-17 June has damaged Kinnaur district in Himachal Pradesh drastically claiming at least 25 lives and thousands of live stock perished. Devastation of apple orchards due to heavy snow in Pooh and other higher reaches, damage of standing crops and agricultural land, destruction to more than 700 houses, schools, more than 300 roads and other private and government buildings have ruined due to this disaster.
Several landslides and massive soil erosion has affected vast areas which has been aggravated due to soil dumped in river bank by hydro projects and roads development. Many houses and even villages have become unsafe to live. Regrettably the plight of more than one lakh people in Kinnaur were overshadowed by the more extensive damage and stranded pilgrims in Uttarakhand.
It is evident fact that gravity of heavy devastation and impact of this catastrophe has frustrated many folds due to unscientific construction and muck disposal by hydro projects, roads and building construction in the region. Heavy vehicular inflow and entry of external population on the name of tourism, damming of River Satluj and ongoing heavy construction of hydro-projects has essentially impacted local climate and aggravated nature of erratic weather.
The Satluj valley is extremely fragile and comes under seismological zone -5 region particularly beyond Tapri. Usually the region comes under Himalayan desert having spars vegetation and never face rain in summer. Himachal is witnessing rain fall even above Recongpeo since last some years due to above humane interferences on the name of development. This year it was not just heavy rain and cloud burst but faced snowfall which causes damage to life and local economy. It is an alarming sign of further catastrophe in this region by rain, flash flood, cloud burst, glacier depletion and earthquakes which will result in increased land slid, soil erosion and spoil habitats and farm land.
This catastrophe takes place in over all western Himalaya form Nepal boarder to Satluj valley. In an assessment by Himachal administration, it is a loss of more than Rs. 2500 crores due to June catastrophe. Government must have declared calamity in Kinaur and Uttarakhand region as national calamity because of contiguous affected region and logic of state boundary should have not been the criteria. National media has also not given due space to Satluj valley devastation.
Affected people in Kinaur are being now badly paid for loss of life, livelihoods, properties, houses, livestock, orchids and agriculture as it has been reported as compare to Uttarakhand where more than threefold compensation will be provided from central government relief fund, PM relief fund and state relief funds. Increased relief is being distributed in Uttarakhand beyond relief manual. People in Uttarakhand are also seeking relief and rehabilitation packages from national and international institution, NGOs and UN organisation where there is no such aid being even considered to Kinaur. People in Kinaur are being agitated and are going to express their resentment in this one day conclave on 17th July 2012 at NGO Hall -Recongpeo .
The People Conclave is being organised by Him Lok Jagriti Manch and Kinaur Sangharsh Samiti. Himalaya Niti Abhiyan and Mine Minral and People along with all peoples movement in this country are also taking part with the people of Kinaur at this time of catastrophe and support their demands.