KL NEWS NETWORK
The disproportionate publicity that ensued army’s rescue operations during last year’s floods fizzled out Monday after defence ministry furnished a bill of Rs 500 crore, literally charging all the effort and capital, army had invested to “save” flood-trapped Kashmiris, the reports said.
“A letter dated February 6, 2015, from the home ministry to the state government on central assistance, lists payment of Air Bills for airdropping of essential supplies and rescue (tentative Rs. 500 crore) as per actual, based on the bills raised by the ministry of defence,” the reports said.
In its effort to clear the liabilities, the home ministry has taken out money Rs 1,602 crore given to State Disaster Response Fund account of the states for instant disasters.
The state government has been demanding a better relief package to fund efforts for reconstruction and compensation. Recently centre announced Rs 551 crore package for the state that has struck a discordant note with analysts and criticised by trade bodies, unionists and separatists.
Large parts of Kashmir region were washed away last year after devastating floods struck killing nearly 300 people and affecting more than a million.
Army claimed that it rescued nearly two lakh people including tourists besides air-dropping essential commodities like food, water and medicine. But locals trashed the claims about army’s “magnanimity” and alleged that they rescued mainly tourists and government officials.
What army called “Operation Megh Rahat” to “salvage” Kashmir caught in murky waters was backfired as the trapped Kashmiri alleged that army airdropped expiry food items on them. And now, the bill has been send home.