Centre needs to get state report to declare J&K floods as national disaster: BJP

Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir government will have to submit a report about the devastation caused by the September floods to the central government for it to consider declaring the natural calamity as a national disaster, the state unit of BJP on Thursday said.
“There is a procedure. A report, about the destruction caused by the floods, should first go from the state government to the Centre. Once the report is submitted, then, I am sure, the central government will consider declaring the floods as a national disaster,” chairman of BJP’s state campaign committee Nirmal Singh told reporters here.
Singh said once the state government submits the report, the party will also take it up with the central government.
“They (political parties in Kashmir) are politicising the issue. The Centre has done a commendable job right from day one of the floods. Once the report is submitted, we will also take it up with the government,” he said.
Singh alleged the state administration had failed to provide succour to the people when they needed it the most.
“The administration was nowhere to be seen. They did not come to peoples’ help as was needed. Eid is being celebrated in a few days. How will the people here, who have no food, shelter or clothes, celebrate the festival?” he asked.
He claimed there was anger against the state government as it had “failed” to do its moral duty.
“Wherever you go, there is anger. The state government has not gone up to the people to help them. It was the moral duty of the government but they failed in performing that,” he said.
He said the passports of many people had been washed away in the flood waters and the party would take the issue with the central government.
“Many youth have to go out of the country to study. We will take the issue up with the centre to expedite the process of handing them new passports,” he said.
Singh said the party salutes the courage of the people of Kashmir, especially the youth, who overcame the tragedy.
“We salute the people of Kashmir. The way they overcame the tragedy is commendable. The central government, army, NDRF helped but it was the youth of Kashmir who were at the forefront and provided relief to the affected people,” he said, adding the people of the whole country were with the people of the state.
Singh said it would be a “cruel joke” to talk about elections when the tragedy has struck the state.
“We wanted to assess the damage caused by the floods. We are not here for the elections. It is for the Election Commission to decide about that.
“We think it would be a cruel joke to talk about elections at this juncture. The priority is to help the people as the winters are approaching,” he said.
He said the party has constituted monitoring committees to monitor the distribution of relief to the affected people.
“The central aid goes directly to the state government and the party has nothing to do with that. But we have constituted committees to monitor its distribution and to see that the relief goes to the affected people.
“We will also see to it that the claims of the people are registered,” he said.


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