Sharing Legislative House’s concern over the loss of human lives and public assets during the September 2014 floods and recent rains, snowfall followed by landslides and soil erosion across the State, Deputy Chief Minister, Dr Nirmal Singh Monday informed the Legislative Assembly that Government was making serious efforts to provide immediate succor to the affected people.
According to an official statement, Dr Nirmal Singh while replying to the special discussion on the relief and rehabilitation measures for the affected people in the Legislative Assembly, said that the Government immediately after seeing the impact of incessant rain and rise in the level of water in various rivers across the State swung into action and started the rescue and relief measures.
“This helped saving many precious lives and minimized loss to the infrastructure. The Government of India also responded immediately to the situation and deputed teams of National Disaster Management which in coordination with the State authorities took necessary preventive measures to shift the people from the danger areas and plugging the gaps from the flood threat areas,” said the Deputy Chief Minister.
Maintaining that the Government has already set in motion the process of assessment of loss to the public property, infrastructure and crops across the State, the Deputy Chief Minister said that after getting the full details, the Government will approach the Central Government for providing the necessary compensation to the affected people.
“However, the Government has placed Rs 25 crore at the disposal of Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir and Rs. 10 crore at the disposal of Divisional Commissioner, Jammu for providing immediate relief to the affected people,” said the Minister.
Giving the details of relief and rehabilitation measures of September, 2014 floods, Dr Singh informed that the previous Government had submitted a comprehensive package amounting to Rs. 44000 crore to the Central Government for restoration of public infrastructure, ex-gratia to the next of kin of deceased and relief on account of damage of various crops, free ration etc. He said Rs. 2926.11 crore were projected as per SDRF norms, adding that such assessment was made at the initial stage and during the completion of verification process, the requirement as per SDRF norms came down to Rs. 2600 crore.
He said the Central Government while considering the claim of the State Government in respect of SDRF requirement approved only Rs. 1102 crore.
The statement said that the Government of India provided Rs 426 crore for paying compensation to those families whose houses were either severely or partially damaged. “Another amount of Rs 13. 79 crore was also provided under PM’s National Relief Fund for making the ex-gratia payment to next of kin of deceased during the floods. Besides, the State Government also made available Rs 1044 crore out of the SDRF for relief operations and temporary restoration of damaged public infrastructure,” he said.
He further said that these funds have been kept at the disposal of Divisional Commissioners, Deputy Commissioners and other concerned Departments for the purpose. The process of distribution of relief is going on as per the available funds and Government of India is approached for releasing the balance funds to meet the requirements.
During the 2014 floods, as many as 300 deaths were reported across the State and ex-gratia was paid to their next of kin. Free ration was also sanctioned and distributed to the affected people. The crops over a land of 399946 hectares were affected and process of relief to the farmers will be taken up after receiving the funds from the Centre, said the Deputy Chief Minister.