The state government on Wednesday said it is pursuing a financial package with the Centre for the rehabilitation of the flood victims in the state.
“Yes, we are looking at Delhi for a comprehensive package,” relief and rehabilitation minister Basharat Bukhari, while replying to the Calling Attention Notice by MLA Kulgam, MY Tarigami, on the efforts being made by the government towards rehabilitating the victims of September 2014 floods.
“Our finance minister (Dr Haseeb Drabu) is pursuing the package with New Delhi. We are hopeful that it will be released soon. The flood package prepared by our government has many components, including humanitarian relief, rebuilding infrastructure and compensating the affected households and traders,” Bukhari said.
Bukhari said `400 crore has been approved by Central Water Commission (CWC) for strengthening banks of rivers in J&K which will be spent through the flood control department. “`1,500 crore has been released by the World Bank which will be used in dealing with the aftermath of floods,” he said.
Regretting the absence of a comprehensive policy on rehabilitating victims of natural calamities and other tragedies in the state, Bukhari said the state government is working to prepare such a policy.
“The government has no comprehensive policy for rehabilitating victims of such tragedies, although individual cases, like the victims of border firing, are taken up. Besides, some cases are also approved by the cabinet in absence of a comprehensive policy,” he said.
Tarigami had moved the notice to draw the attention of the government towards the “delay in rehabilitation of flood victims, particularly residing adjacent to river Veshu which suffered huge devastation during September 2014 floods and incessant rains followed by flash floods in 2015.”
In his written reply, the relief and rehabilitation minister said five villages comprising 712 families got affected due to the floods who require alternate dwelling places.
“A proposal amounting to `21.64 crore by the Kulgam district administration is under process for acquisition of 383 kanals and 19 marlas of land. Kulgam deputy commissioner has also reported that residents Gudder, Laisoo and Adapora remain under constant threat even after slight showers, so need to be relocated, proposal for which is also being formulated by the government,” Bukhari said in his response.
“The concerned departments are also under instructions to take further necessary steps for safeguarding the flanks of highly turbulent and ferocious Veshu nullah,” the minister said, assuring the house that the victims in Kulgam will be rehabilitated soon.