Non-Existent Flood Relief in Union Govt Package Tragic: NC



National Conference on Saturday lashed out at the PDP-BJP Government for finally and completely “abandoning the cause of the flood victims’ relief and rehabilitation” by being the architect of the Union Government’s cruel joke in terms of a package which has precious little to offer to those affected by the devastating floods.

NC General Secretary Ali Mohammad Sagar said, “National Conference would launch a state wide agitation at every District Headquarter to demand justice for the flood victims who have now been summarily deceived and stabbed in the back.”

“The Rs 44,000 Crore Flood Relief and Rehabilitation Package that the previous Omar Abdullah-led Government had proposed had asked for a compensation of Rs 9 Lakh for every full damaged house and had demanded compensation for traders, shopkeepers and entrepreneurs who had suffered irreparable damages in the natural calamity. In the recently announced Union Government Package which has been designed together by the PDP and the BJP, the cause of flood victims has been side lined in the most insensitive manner. A paltry Rs 2,000 Crore has now been dispensed as the final amount of relief and rehabilitation for the flood victims. The PDP had said it would ensure the Central Government would approve a package twice as large as the Rs 44,000 Crore Flood Relief Package proposed by the previous Government. Rs 2,000 Crore clearly isn’t double of Rs 44,000 Crore – its peanuts and amounts to sprinkling salt in the wounds of the flood victims,” NC General Secretary Ali Mohammad Sagar said addressing a meeting of the Party’s Zonal Heads and District Presidents for Kashmir Province.

The NC General Secretary lamented the double standards of the Union Government in dealing with the devastating floods in Kashmir. “In Uttarakhand, the Union Government announced an amount of Rs 7 Lakh for every damaged house and compensations in other segments were multiple times over what has been announced in Kashmir. Now it appears the State Government has also fudged the numbers and drastically reduced the number of houses that it has shown as fully, severely and partially damaged. This is a shameless effort by the PDP and its Finance Minister to help the Union Government in escaping the responsibility that it had towards the flood victims. We will protests against the injustice meted out to the flood victims at every District Headquarters in the Valley in the coming days,” Sagar added.

In his address, NC Provincial President, Nasir Aslam Wani, said, “the cruel joke with the flood victims was a monumental disappointment that had yet again proved PDP’s lack of empathy for the people they falsely claim to represent. The Finance Minister and his party openly opposed Rs 44,000 Crore flood relief package proposed by the previous Government. That package would have ensured adequate compensation of Rs 9 Lakh for every damaged house and would have compensated the losses of our businessmen, traders and entrepreneurs ensuring their revival and hence giving an impetus to the State’s economy. Sadly PDP played a very vicious role in depriving the flood victims of their rights. Whatever paltry sum as compensation amounts has been announced for the flood victims is also inclusive of the amounts already dispensed by previous Government out of the limited resources it had available in the immediate aftermath of the tragedy. Today, the abandonment of the flood victims is final and complete and ironically this has been done by a party that used the 2014 floods to come to power.”

“The statement of the State’s Finance Minister that the funds were slashed by New Delhi arbitrarily is ridiculous and ironic given the fact that the Finance Minister had wholeheartedly welcomed the Union Package after it was announced along with the Chief Minister. Why did he first welcome the package unequivocally and waited till now to blame the Union Government? The Finance Minister can’t have the cake and eat it too. His statement is also ironic given the fact that it was none other than the Finance Minister himself who sabotaged Rs 44,000 Crore flood relief package proposed by the previous Omar Abdullah-led Government. It’s pretty evident that the Finance Minister and the State Government has co-authored this cruel joke of a package with the Central Government and no amount of public posturing of helplessness and victimhood will absolve the PDP of its guilt in abandoning thousands of flood victims,” he added.

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