Expert team to be set up under PMO to oversee Kashmir flood relief and announce 745 crores for flood victims

Srinagar: An expert committee under the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) will be set up to oversee the massive task of rehabilitation and reconstruction in the aftermath of devastating floods that hit Jammu and Kashmir last month.

Expert team to be set up under PMO to oversee Kashmir flood relief and announce 745 crores for flood victims

This was conveyed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) when a delegation of the opposition party, led by its General Secretary Mohammad Dillawar Mir, called on him here on Thursday.

“The Prime Minister assured us that an expert committee would be constituted to oversee the massive task of rehabilitation and reconstruction of the state.

“He also promised tangible action on other points raised by the delegation including special financial package for the affected businesses and horticulture sector,” a PDP spokesman said in Srinagar. The delegation urged the Prime Minister to initiate immediate tangible measures to set into motion a comprehensive process of rehabilitation and reconstruction of the flood-affected people in the state.

The PDP leaders told the Prime Minister that the expert committee comprising town planners, structural engineers, civil engineers, hydrologists, geologists, flood control experts and economists should be entrusted with the task of formulating and implementing a comprehensive rehabilitation and reconstruction programme in a time-bound manner.

“The expert committee should work under direct supervision of the Prime Minister to ensure effective implementation and delivery of the reconstruction plan in the state as was done in the aftermath of the 2001 earthquake that caused massive destruction in Bhuj area of Gujarat,” the spokesman said.

He said the massive challenge of rehabilitation and reconstruction should be accomplished in a cohesive manner to rebuild safe, sustainable and planned infrastructure in the state.

“The delegation also reiterated the demand for including Srinagar in Rs 7000 crore Smart Cities project announced in the Union Budget,” he said. The spokesman said the party pressed for a speedy follow-up action by the Centre on the state government’s Rs 44,000 crore relief and rehabilitation package proposal.

Before travelling to Srinagar to spend time with the flood-affected people on the festival of lights, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday visited Siachen. Modi spent some time with the soldiers posted on the heights of Siachen Glacier to send the message that all Indians stand shoulder-to-shoulder with them. He lavuishly praised the army for the work they do and said citizens can afford to spend Diwwali in peace due to their service.
Asserting that the government stands with the people of Jammu and Kashmir in rehabilitation works, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday announced Rs. 570 crore for rebuilding homes in Kashmir and Rs. 175 crore for six major hospitals worst affected by the floods.

Prime Minister Modi, who met Jammu and Kashmir Governor N.N. Vohra at the Raj Bhavan here, also announced that books and notebooks would be provided to thousands of schoolchildren.

Special checking points have been set up at various places in the city including entry and exit points as a precautionary measure to maintain law and order.
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Many flood victims feel that Modi’s visit will not be just symbolic and that he will announce a comprehensive package from Centre to rebuild their lives. Two factions of Hurriyat Conference have called for a general strike and peaceful protests against the visit of the Prime Minister.

Thousands of people rendered homeless by the deluge in Jammu and Kashmir last month are pinning their hopes on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Diwali visit to the Valley, expecting him to announce a substantial package that can help them rebuild their homes before the onset of winter.