PM announces Rs 745-cr J&K flood package

PM announces Rs 745-cr J&K flood package

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who arrived on a day’s visit to Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday to celebrate Deepavali with the flood victims, announced a
Rs 745-crore relief package for homes and hospitals ravaged in the recent deluge.

The package includes Rs 570 crore for rehabilitation of the flood-affected and Rs 175 crore for renovation of six major hospitals in the state.

“I have come here to show solidarity with the people of the state. I have always maintained that the calamity (flood) was not only for the people of the state, it is for the entire country. The nation stands with the people of Kashmir,” the prime minister told reporters at Raj Bhavan here.

To ensure that the funds are not misused, Modi said that money should be directly transferred to bank accounts of the beneficiaries.

“I met local businessmen and other delegates here. People demanded that government aid reach them directly,” he said. Modi, however, did not make any promise on the Rs 44,000- crore package that the Jammu and Kashmir government sought for the rehabilitation process. “The package that the state government wants is being verified,” he said.
Modi landed at the Srinagar airport around 2:10 pm.

Later he met delegations of flood affected people, traders, civil society, Sikh and Pandit minority groups, besides representatives of various political parties.

In a one-on-one meeting with Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, he was briefed about the huge challenge of reconstructing Jammu and Kashmir and rehabilitating the people.
During the meeting, Omar emphasised the need for early sanctioning of the comprehensive special rehabilitation programme recommended by the state government to the Centre.

The prime minister also held a separate meeting with top officers of the state in which detailed account of the work done on relief and rehabilitation front was given.
The officers also identified the needs of the state for recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction of infrastructure.

Modi’s decision to celebrate Diwali in Kashmir comes in the backdrop of devastating floods in September.

The unprecedented deluge killed more than 280 people and rendered thousands homeless. This was his second visit to the state after the recent floods.

During his first visit on September 7, the prime minister had announced a Rs 1,000-crore special assistance package for rehabilitation of the victims.
DH News Service

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