J&K Floods: Centre to announce relief package next week

Srinagar Floods

SRINAGAR — The Centre is all set to announce its package for the flood-ravaged Jammu and Kashmir next week as the State government is expected to submit its memorandum of losses within the next 2-3 days.

“We are expecting that the J&K Government would submit the proposal by Monday or Tuesday and accordingly, we will announce the package,” a senior official in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) was reported as saying by Greater Kashmir.

The official, actively involved in J&K affairs of MHA, said that the package would have been announced, but delay on the part of the J&K Government has hampered it.

The MHA official said that Rs 200 crore would be separately released for the Flood Threat Management Programme. The official said that they are in constant touch with J&K Government.

“The (J&K) Government has assured that memorandum of losses will be submitted to the Centre within next 2-3 days,” he said, adding that the Centre is worried as winter in Kashmir is approaching fast.

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“They (J&K Government) have not submitted the memorandum of losses till date as some areas are still underwater,” the official said, adding that a separate package would also be announced for J&K’s industrial sector.

The MHA official said, “So far, the Centre has released about Rs 2400 crore for flood-hit J&K. Out of which, Rs 1000 crores were announced by the Prime Minister during his visit to the State. Rs 100 crore has been kept separately for the revival of the tourism industry.”

J&K Government has said that the losses to properties and businesses were in excess of Rs 100,000 crore (one trillion). It has said that estimated damage to the housing sector to the tune of Rs 30000 crore and losses in the business and public sectors at Rs 70000 crore. However, the State government has termed the losses as a preliminary assessment.

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Two weeks ago, Kashmir Center for Social and Development Studies, a civil society group, had said the damage caused to public and private properties due to the flood is over Rs. 1 trillion. The floods first submerged south Kashmir districts on September 3 and 4. Later on September 7, the floods devastated Srinagar.

The calamity, the worst in the century, caused colossal losses of life and massive damage to housing and business sectors, public institutions particularly hospitals, road infrastructure, agriculture and transport sectors. Over 300 people lost their lives across J&K, including 85 persons from Kashmir.

A preliminary survey by the government had revealed that the flood damaged over 3.50 lakh structures, including 2.50 lakh residential houses and affected 12 lakh families in 5500 flood-hit villages across the State. In worst-hit Kashmir, 2.60 lakh structures got damaged with 95000 houses in Srinagar alone.

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