Former chief minister Omar Abdullah on Monday pitched for sending an all party delegation to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the approval of `44,000
crore relief and rehabilitation package for flood-hit people of Jammu and Kashmir.
Taking part in the discussion in the assembly regarding recent floods in the state, Omar said, "We should get above politics and you (government) should lead an all party delegation to Centre for the approval of ` 44,000 crore relief package which was approved by the earlier cabinet. If you want to give justice to people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh, kindly get the proposal approved."
"There are provisions in the package by which we can increase the carrying capacity of the Jhelum, flood damages carrying capacity and raising the height of dewatering pumps. I urge government to get the package sanctioned for Centre and do not take even penny less and penny more," he added.
Referring to the speech of finance minister Hasseb Drabu, leader of opposition said, "Finance minister totally cocked-up the package. We did not prepare the package, however, it was made by the same officers, who are now working for you (government). If you do not agree with the package, kindly make the fresh one, what are you waiting for? Do not distribute in bits and pieces."
Accusing government of distributing relief to flood victims on political considerations, Omar said, "During the September 2014 floods, ruling members wanted to distribute the relief cheques personally. But I totally opposed them and told officers to transfer the relief amount into the accounts of victims. Now, unfortunately the cheques are being disturbed on political basis. I urge government to distribute the relief directly to deserving and there should be no politics on relief."
Accusing the government of making contradictory statements on present floods in J&K, Omar said, "Please speak in one voice. I am confused that whether there was any flood-like situation in J&K. I have definitely seen the water and whether it qualifies for floods or not, I do not know. When we said that water levels were rising, there is a danger. One of your minister said that there is no flood and it was the propaganda of NC-Congress, but later it was told there is flood-like situation in J&K. Other minster said there were no floods, it was localised waterlogging."
"We want to know whether government will provide three months free ration to farmers, whose 50% of crops have been destroyed by rains and later extending it to another three more months," he added.
Taking dig at the Kashmir administration, Omar said, "J&K state doesn't exist only at Lal Chowk. By dewatering the area does not means that whole Srinagar town is sanitised. Srinagar municipality is not limited to 500 sq ft area, it is very wide. But our officers only visit Lal Chowk. Hardly any officer has bothered to visit towns and rural areas of valley."
NC member Mian Altaf said as compared to September floods, which were limited to city, this time the floods hit rural areas.
"This time the floods have led to massive soil erosion. The government must take the rebuilding works under NREGA," he said.
CPI(M) MLA MY Tarigami said, "I also support the idea of sending all party delegation to Prime Minister to present the demand and seek assistance as is given to other states in case of natural calamities. Damaged crops should be assessed and farmers should get adequate compensation. The government should remove encroachments on nullahs and canals."
Other members, including Javed Rana, GM Saroori, Hakim Yaseen, Mian Altaf, Ishfaq Jabbar, Rajiv Jasrotia, Abdul Rahim Rather, Neelam Langeh, Aijaz Ahmad Mir, Gulzar Ahmad Wani and Shakti Parihar also took part in the discussion.