Staff Correspondent

SHIMLA: Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal has urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to provide Rs.603.13 crore to the State for drought relief under the National Calamity Contingency Fund.

During a meeting with the Prime Minister in New Delhi over the weekend, Mr. Dhumal said all 12 districts of Himachal had been badly affected by the drought and so far a loss of Rs. 872.36 crore had been estimated.

He urged the Centre for a fair assessment of the loss suffered by the State and demanded sanction of relief at the earliest.

Meanwhile, a Central team headed by Joint Secretary (Agriculture and Cooperation) E. K. Majhi visited the State on Saturday and assessed the crop damage in some of the districts.

The team agreed that losses are more than 80 per cent at some places and cash crops like apple and vegetables have been badly affected.