SRINAGAR: Getting its act together after being initially numbed by last week’s devastating floods, Jammu and Kashmir Government on Friday announced financial and other assistance to those hit by the disaster, including assistance of Rs 100 crore each to the Jammu region and the Kashmir Valley and supply of free ration for six months.
Grappling with the worst deluge in over 100 years, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said that 137 relief camps had been set up in the Valley where over one lakh people were being attended to.
Omar, who is operating out of a makeshift office with the main secretariat building under water, told a press conference at Srinagar Airport that he had sent a team of six senior ministers led by Finance Minister Abdul Rahim Rather to brief Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other Central Ministers about the situation in the State.
An all-party meeting has been called by the Chief Minister tomorrow to discuss the situation in the State arising out of the worst disaster in living memory.
“We will seek suggestions from other parties to improve the relief and rescue operations in the state,” he said.
Disclosing a slew of decisions taken by the State Government, Omar announced an ex-gratia of Rs 3.5 lakh to kin of those killed in the floods and financial assistance of Rs 75,000 as initial installment for those who lost their homes for rebuilding them.
The ex-gratia for the kin of the deceased will include Rs 2 lakh announced by the Prime Minister earlier.
The Chief Minister said free ration will be supplied to the affected for six months which includes 50 kgs of rice and “I have asked authorities not to insist on documents.”
Omar suggested that the relief should be paid in cash as was done in the case of affected people in the Uri earthquake in 2005 and Ladakh cloud burst.
“There should be not much of government role. Let people build their homes themselves,” he said and announced that cement and timber can be arranged from government depots and steel can be provided by the SAIL.
He sought setting up of insurance camps in the State for settling claims and also requested the Centre to direct the insurance companies to cover damage due to floods while deciding on the compensation.
Omar said that medicines and disinfectants like chlorine, phenyl and DDT have been airlifted for supply in the affected areas to prevent any water-borne diseases.
“Clean drinking water is a problem. I have asked authorities to use the medicine liberally to reduce chances of disease,” Omar said, adding eight water filtration plans had been brought which will distribute drinking water.
The Chief Minister refused to give any time line for complete restoration of power supply. It had come down to 100 MW when water levels increased but now “we have reached 480 MW.” PTI