JK floods: Governor to review rehabilitation today

Greater Kashmir

SRINAGAR VISIT : To meet affected people, chair high-level meeting

Srinagar, Jan 16: Governor NN Vohra would Saturday review the ongoing rehabilitation program for flood affected people in Kashmir which has taken a hit owing to the political impasses in the State.
A senior official in Raj Bhavan said Vohra would arrive in Srinagar tomorrow to review the implementation of relief and rehabilitation work being carried out in different flood-hit districts.
“He (Vohra) will first meet flood-affected people, shopkeepers and traders and listen to their grievances during his two-hour meeting scheduled at SKICC,” the official said.
Vohra would then chair a meeting of officers from different departments who are associated with the rehabilitation program and seek complete details from them about the program and its status at different levels.
While Srinagar was worst hit in the floods that hit Kashmir on September 7 last year, many districts of south and north Kashmir also came under the deluge. The flood, considered to be worst in the century, caused massive damage to private and public property.
The rehabilitation of the flood victims was severely hit as assembly elections were announced in November, a month after the flood.
Amid winter season in Kashmir, the problems of the affected people got compounded after the Assembly elections results threw up a fractured mandate with no political party able to cobble the numbers to form the government.
The Governor’s rule was imposed in J&K on January 8 after Omar Abdullah stepped down as the care-taker Chief Minister of the State.
The Raj Bhawan official said the Governor took the decision (to hold the review meeting) after several MLAs of affected constituencies called on him, seeking his intervention for speeding up the rehabilitation program.
Former J&K Chief Minister and National Conference Working President Omar Abdullah Thursday hit out at New Delhi for “holding up” Rs 44,000-crore relief package for flood victims of Kashmir.
“Dear GovtOf India now that you are directly ruling J&K can you please tell us why package for flood victims relief is being held up?” Omar wrote on the micro-blogging site Twitter on Thursday.
Last October, the then government led by Omar had submitted a proposal of Rs 44000 crore to Government of India for providing financial assistance to the flood victims. New Delhi however raised “queries” on the proposal and sought complete details from the State.  Though there has been no forward movement on the proposal, the State Government sanctioned Rs 75000 for fully damaged houses and Rs 3800 for partially damaged structures as interim relief. Allegations of nepotism and corruption, however, surfaced during the relief distribution process.
The State government has said Kashmir suffered a loss of Rs one lakh crore (one trillion) to the private and public property in Kashmir, due to the September deluge.  As per the government estimates, at least 2.40 lakh structures including residential houses got damaged.
On their request, the Governor, according to an official, shall also meet some Srinagar-based organizations involved in the rehabilitation process.