Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari is likely to visit the flood-affected areas of Kullu and Manali on August 1, Himachal Pradesh Public Works Department Minister Vikramaditya Singh said here on Friday. A large number of roads of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and the Public Works Department (PWD) and bridges have been damaged in the recent flooding in the state. Officials estimated the damage to road infrastructure at Rs 1,800-2,000 crore.
Singh said directions have been issued for quick repair of roads and bridges.
“The Union minister has accepted the invitation of the state government to visit the flood-affected areas and as per the tentative schedule issued by his office, he would visit on August 1,” he told reporters here.
Singh thanked Gadkari for allocating Rs 300 crore under the Setu Bharatam Yojna for reconstructing damaged bridges connecting national highways in the state, and said he, along with Mandi MP Pratibha Singh, had meet the Union minister recently and appraised him about the situation.
Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu will hold a review meeting with NHAI and PWD on July 31, he said.
Meanwhile, Singh urged leader of the opposition Jai Ram Thakur not to do politics and cooperate with the state government in this time of disaster.
Replying to a question on alleged attempts by the BJP to poach MLAs, he said it would never be successful in Himachal Pradesh.
The people of the state have given the Congress the mandate with 40 MLAs, he added.
So far, 183 persons have died in rain-related incidents and road accidents since June 24 when the monsoon hit the state.
Thirty-three people are missing as per the state emergency response centre.