As VC University of Kashmir heading a team of eight seismologists to take on spot assessment of recent seismicity in the Chenab Valley, the government revealed in the state assembly that three persons died, 90 were injured as 80830 families stand affected by a series of earthquakes that started on May 1, 2013
Information tabled in the twin houses in response to various questions and call attention motions, suggest Doda is the worst sufferer with 48755 families, followed by Kishtwar with 32000 families as Ramban is the third with 75 families impacted by the earthquake.
The government put the total number of private property that was damaged at 96668 of which 1136 is fully damaged, 15359 is partially damaged and the balance 80173 has partial damage.
In monetary terms, the government says the loss was assessed at Rs 119.26 crore of which Rs 19.37 crore is private property, Rs 99.87 crore is public infrastructure and livestock worth two lakh rupees perished in the calamity.
So far, the government has released Rs 24.84 crore as relief of which Rs 19 crore has gone to Doda, Rs 5.69 crore to Kishtwar and balance Rs 15 lakh to Ramban. Under the SDRF norms, the government said it paid Rs 70,000 for fully damaged Pacca house and Rs 15000 for a Kaccha house. In severely damaged cases, the house owners would get Rs 6300 and Rs 3200 respectively. In case of partial damage, the government will pay Rs 1900 per house.
However, the government has submitted a plan worth Rs 607.77 crore to the central government under which it intends to pay Rs two lakh to a fully damaged house, one lakh to severely damaged house and Rs 50,000 to partially damaged houses. The plan is yet to be approved by Delhi.
The government revealed that it has paid Rs 3.22 crore for free distribution if wheat and flour and Rs 3.02 crore for free distribution of rice to the affected population, so far. Under the scheme, it paid free rations for three months.
While the people are seeking help in rebuilding their homes, the government is working overtime to tell people that the earthquake is not the outcome of hydropower dams in the region. “There is no scientific proof which can corroborate the averment that seismic changes have occurred due to construction of dams,” the government said in a written response to lawmaker Kahlid Najib Suharwardi. The lawmaker was pained to understand that the state government has nothing on record about the damages that took place after the initial May 1 shock which was stated to be 5.8 on Richter scale.
It is almost the same thing that Prof Talat led team is hawking in the region. “As per the available data of the depth of epicenter of recent earthquakes and aftershocks it seems that the Hydro Electric Power Projects in the region are not responsible for the recent seismic activity as the water reservoir created by these power projects cannot reach to that extent,” Prof Talat was quoted saying a meeting in Doda. He has stated the same in Kishtwar as well. “The entire Himalaya being an active seismic zone, there is need to take precautionary measures to minimize the loss of life and property in such eventualities.”
An official spokesman said the team will study the nature and type of rocks in the region and demarcate the locations for installing the sophisticated equipments to monitor the seismic activity even small movement of earth plates also.
Team members include Prof Shakil A Romshoo (KU), Dr Imtiyaz Parvez (C-MMACS Banglore), Dr Supriyo Mitra (ISSER Kolkata), Dr Rakesh Chander (KU), Dr Sunil Wanchoo (Mata Vaishnoo Devi University Katra), Dr Riyaz A Dar (KU) and Yogendra Sharma (Mata Vaishnoo Devi University Katra)