The Prime Minister Wednesday approved financial aid of Rs 426.83 crore out of the Prime Ministers National Relief Fund (PMNRF) for assistance being provided to the owners of severely and partially damaged pucca and Kacha houses.
“This aid will benefit 1.87 lakh owners of houses damaged in the floods,” the Raj Bhavan spokesman said.
The spokesperson recalled that the Prime Minister had earlier announced PMNRF relief of Rs. 1 lakh and Rs. 50,000 to the affected families whose Pacca/Kacha houses had been fully damaged.
The financial assistance now approved by the Prime Minister envisages additional assistance of Rs.50,000 for severely damaged Pacca house, Rs.25,000 for partially damaged Pacca house, Rs.10,000 for severely damaged Kacha house and Rs. 5,000 for partially damaged Kacha house. Owners of 30,933 severely damaged Pacca houses involving an amount of Rs.154.66 crore and 93,024 partially damaged houses involving an amount of Rs. 232.56 crore will get benefitted. Also, owners of 15,832 severely damaged Kacha houses involving an amount of Rs.15.83 crore and 47,550 partially damaged houses involving an amount of Rs.23.77 crore will get benefited.
The financial assistance will be distributed through NDMA who would finalize the data of admissible beneficiaries in consultation with the State Government and transfer the assistance directly to the existing bank accounts of the beneficiaries or through the newly opened Aadhar linked Jhan Dhan Yojna accounts.
The Governor has expressed gratitude to the Union Home Minister and the Prime Minister for approving additional PMNRF relief of Rs. 426.83 crore for assisting the flood affected families. The Governor had met the Union Home Minister and the Prime Minister last month and sought early sanction of additional relief. Pertinent to recall that Rs. 115.81 crore PMNRF relief has already been disbursed to 16748 beneficiaries in respect of fully damaged Pacca and Kacha houses in pursuance of the announcement made by Prime Minister where he visited Srinagar on Diwali day.
The Governor has directed the Divisional Commissioners of Kashmir and Jammu Divisions to urgently finalize the data of beneficiaries in accordance with the admissibility conditions so that the grants can be electronically transferred to their bank accounts without any loss of time.
The Raj Bhavan spokesperson recalled that soon after taking over the Governor had sent a detailed communication to the Union Home Minister to highlight that the scale of relief admissible under the State Disaster Relief Fund (SDRF) is altogether inadequate for the affected families to even partially repair their damaged houses. The Governor had called for substantial enhancement in the scale of relief to enable the affected families to carry out the essential repairs, keeping in view the considerably high cost of materials and labour in the Kashmir Valley.
It was clarified that the PMNRF assistance now approved by the PM will be in addition to Rs.12,600 and Rs.3,800 already paid to the affected owners as per the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) norms.
Till such time as the Central Government considers and sanctions funds under the Special Flood Relief Package, the Governor had directed that all necessary steps should be taken for providing relief as per the SDRF norms. After the promulgation of Governor’s Rule the Governor had launched vigorous initiatives to seek Central assistance for providing additional assistance to enable the owners of severely/partially damaged houses to undertake essential repairs till final decisions are taken on the Special Package. Considering the significantly high cost of labour and construction materials the affected families have been demanding enhancement of the relief amount.
The Raj Bhavan spokesperson informed that the Governor was further pursuing with Union Home Ministry and Prime Minister’s Office the other elements of the Special Package, valuing about Rs. 11,000 crore, which would enable extending assistance for grant of house loans at subsidized rates of interest, soft loans for revival of tourism, business and industry, extension of moratorium on return of loans etc.