Three years after Kashmir was hit by one of the most-devastating floods of its history, the government is unsure about the status of rehabilitation of flood-affected people.
Commissioner Secretary, Disaster Management, Muhammad Ashraf Mir told Rising Kashmir that Government of India (GoI) had sent relief amount from New Delhi under different components like housing and industries.
In September 2014, Kashmir was hit by one of the worst-ever floods of its history leaving 300 people dead and property worth billions of rupees damaged.
After the floods, the State government sent Rs 44,000 crore proposal to GoI for the rehabilitation of flood-affected people and traders.
Nine months after the floods, GoI finally announced a financial package but the assistance amount of Rs 1667 crore left Kashmiris disappointed.
Political parties, civil society groups and trade bodies termed GoI’s financial package a “crude joke”.
After GoI’s trimmed relief amount to Jammu Kashmir, Congress leader Tariq Hameed Karra, who was then the Member of Parliament of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) asked it to rethink its alliance with the rightwing Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) for letting Kashmir down.
Trade bodies of Kashmir too tried to build pressure on PDP to end the coalition government with BJP as they felt the financial package was Jammu-centric and had nothing for the flood-hit people and traders of Kashmir.
Finance Minister Haseeb Ahmad Drabu though welcomed the package.
Talking to Rising Kashmir, Director Disaster Management, Amir Ali said the different components of relief amount that the State government received from New Delhi were being looked into by the Finance department.
However, Director Finance, Zahoor Ahmad Bhat could not furnish the exact details.
While the State’s summer capital, Srinagar was worst-hit by September 2014 floods, other places in south and north Kashmir were also adversely impacted.
There is still anger against the government for its “failure” in rehabilitating the flood-victims but on the contrary the flood-hit people are all praise for voluntary organisations.
After the GoI announced Rs 1667 crore as financial assistance for the flood-hit Jammu Kashmir against the proposed Rs 44,000 crore, opposition National Conference (NC) General Secretary, Ali Muhammad Sagar termed the Rs 1667 crore rehabilitation package announced by New Delhi to the State as “mediocre”, “disgusting” and “insulting”.
The GoI’s financial assistance is still being taken as a crude joke by the flood-hit people, particularly those who were rendered homeless by the devastating floods.
There is an impression that while the government may have talked at length about their rehabilitation, it failed to walk the talk.