History is testimony to the fact that Kashmiris have always overcome natural calamities and other challenges.
Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Rohit Kansal, on Monday hailed the people of Kashmir for “valiantly facing the flood fury” even as he maintained that the administration “will continue the rehabilitation process till all flood victims are compensated for damage to their dwellings.”
“Kashmir was reaping the benefits of one of the best tourist seasons when the devastating floods ravaged the Valley in September last year.However, people of Kashmir valiantly faced the flood fury and even helped in rescue operations,” said Kansal, who was chief guest at the R-Day function at Bakshi Stadium here.
“History is testimony to the fact that Kashmiris have always overcome natural calamities and other challenges. On this day, we should think what we lost last year and what we can achieve this year. I hope that with the cooperation of people, we will be able to restore Kashmir’s pristine glory which was snatched by the floods,” he said.
Kansal said the administration was making all efforts to undertake rehabilitation of the flood victims.
“The rehabilitation process is enormous as over 1.60 lakh houses were damaged by the floods in Kashmir. Srinagar bore the brunt of the deluge as over 80,000 structures were damaged. The rehabilitation process is not fully complete and we are working to resolve problems confronting it,” he said.
He said so far Rs 175 crore has been distributed as relief among the flood victims while 200 temporary structures, 600 dwellings have been constructed for them through NGOs. “The State government has submitted a memorandum to Government of India to grant more relief. We are committed to help in rehabilitation of people associated with various sectors including tourism, handicrafts, trade and business,” he said.
He said the concerned departments have restored hundreds of bridges and water supply schemes damaged by the floods. “Our aim should be to make Kashmir as one of the best divisions in India,” he said.
He complimented police and other security agencies for working in coordination to ensure peaceful conduct of the assembly elections. “People chose the path of democracy and exercised their franchise to get their problems resolved,” he said. Earlier, the Divisional Commissioner took salute of the march past presented by contingents of police and various security agencies. On the occasion, students of various schools presented traditional Kashmiri folk songs. Among others who were present on the occasion included Inspector General of Police Kashmir AG Mir, Deputy Commissioner Srinagar Farooq Ahmad Shah and heads of various departments.
POLITICIANS SKIP OFFICIAL FUNCTION
Unlike January 26 celebrations earlier, politicians this time preferred to skip the official R-day function at the Bakshi Stadium. The seats reserved for politicians in the VIP gallery were empty as leaders of various political parties including former and sitting MLAs, MPs, former ministers skipped the event. However, BJP’s defeated candidate from Amira Kadal segment, Dr Hina Bhat, was the only politician present at the fortified venue.