WB begins flood damage survey in JK

WB begins flood damage survey in JK

While four WB teams would take stock of the devastation in different districts of Kashmir, three other teams would be visiting the affected districts of Jammu.

The World Bank (WB) Tuesday started its detailed assessment of losses caused to infrastructure in Jammu and Kashmir during the last year’s devastating flood, ahead of taking a final call on extending financial support to the State.

“We will be assessing the damages in all sectors including housing, public infrastructure, industry and others,” senior Disaster Management Specialist, World Bank, Saurabh Dhani, told Greater Kashmir.

A 20-member team of the WB led by Dhani, which arrived in J&K on Monday, would be visiting different flood affected districts to survey the damage and make need assessment for post disaster recovery during their five day stay.

While four WB teams would take stock of the devastation in different districts of Kashmir, three other teams would be visiting the affected districts of Jammu.

Dhani said a team each in Kashmir today visited north and south of Valley while another team took stock of damage to health and education sectors in Srinagar. The WB teams also visited affected districts of Jammu today.

The summer capital Srinagar was worst hit by the flood that hit Kashmir during the first week of September 2014, causing colossal loss to lives and property including residential houses. The health and education sectors suffered massive damage in the Valley.

“We will be preparing a joint report about the damage in consultation with state government authorities,” said Dhani.

To a question whether the report would form basis for the WB to extend its financial support to J&K, Dhani said: “It is up to J&K government and Government of India to take the report forward.”

A senior official said once the team completes the loss assessment, it would give them an overview on how the State Government could be provided the financial support. “The draft report would be submitted to Government of India after which deliberations would be held between the Centre and the World Bank authorities to finalize the financial assistance to state Government,” the official said.

The World Bank got a go-ahead from Government of India for their intervention to help rebuild the State’s infrastructure which was massively damaged in the flood—described by the State government as a “disaster of international magnitude”.

On October 21, 2014, the Union Ministry of Finance had led a team of the WB and Asian Development Bank to J&K for undertaking preliminary assessment of the post food situation. The team comprising World Bank’s India Head, OnnoRuhl, and ADB’s India Director, M Teresa Kho, took stock of the situation in flood hit areas of Srinagar.

At least 2.40 lakh structures including residential houses were damaged in flood in Kashmir. As per the government estimates, the deluge caused a damage of Rs one lakh crore in housing, industry and public sectors.

After the deluge the state government sought Rs 44000 crores financial assistance from Government of India to extend monetary assistance to people to rebuild their houses and reconstructing the damaged infrastructure in public sector. However New Delhi has so far been non-committal on the proposal.

On Monday, soon after its arrival in the State, the WB team held sectoral discussions with different administrative secretaries.

An official spokesman said the team assured J&K government of its “full support and assistance” in rehabilitation of flood victims and restoration of infrastructure.

The World Bank provides financial assistance to any state through Government of India in the form of loans.

In 2013, the World Bank and Asian Development Bank agreed to provide $400 million loan to Uttarakhand for reconstruction and rehabilitation purposes.