By PTI

SHIMLA: Himachal Pradesh Congress vice president Ravi Thakur demanded on Sunday that the state government should provide immediate compensation to the farmers of Lahaul-Spiti tribal district whose ripe crops were damaged due to the cloudburst over the Tojing Nullah on July 27.

Thakur, also a former MLA of Lahaul-Spiti, told the media here that a majority of farmers of Udaipur subdivision in Lahaul valley lost their ripe crops of peas, cauliflowers, broccoli, iceberg lettuce and lilium flowers due to flash floods triggered by the cloudburst.

At least eight people were killed in flash floods in Lahaul-Spiti triggered by the cloudburst over Tozing Nullah in Udaipur on July 27.

Several roads were also blocked due to landslides.

Thakur accompanied by Lahaul-Spiti Congress incharge Maheshwar Chauhan alleged that the BJP government in the state failed to handle the situation that arose due to the flash floods.

The former MLA claimed that the residents of Changut village had to spend two nights in a cave as no one from the administration reached there to evacuate them.

Alleging that state Technical Education Minister and Lahaul-Spiti MLA Ram Lal Markanda had submitted a false affidavit during 2017 Assembly polls claiming that he had no property, Thakur said he filed a petition in the state High Court in this regard.

Markanda is evading his appearance before the court while a number of witnesses including several government employees already recorded their statements in the court, he added.

Thakur and Chauhan demanded panchayat elections be held in Lahaul-Spiti district along with the by-election to Mandi parliamentary seat.

Thakur further demanded that the foundation stone installed at the site of Atal Tunnel Rohtang by Congress president Sonia Gandhi on June 28, 2010 in the presence of then CM Prem Kumar Dhumal and Union minister Virbhadra Singh, who passed away last month, should be immediately reinstalled.

The former Congress MLA stated that the Manmohan Singh-led UPA government had provided Rs 1,355 crore for the construction of the tunnel.