Srinagar — Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Jammu & Kashmir for a first-hand assessment of the situation arising out of incessant rain and floods in the State.
The prime minister shared the pain and anguish of the people, as he was briefed in Jammu and in Srinagar by the Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and senior officials of the State government about the damage caused by the floods. The briefings gave an overview of the extensive damage caused to life and property and the disruption to normal life. Thousands of villages have been affected.
Last evening, the prime minister was briefed by Home Minister Rajnath Singh about the extent of damage caused by the floods in Jammu & Kashmir and the suffering that the people were undergoing. In view of the seriousness of the situation, the prime minister had held a crisis review meeting with the Cabinet secretary and other senior officials.
The prime minister said this is a national level disaster, and the Central government stands shoulder to shoulder with the State government and the people of the State in this hour of crisis.
The prime minister observed that the Rs 1,100 crores being made available to the State government through the State Disaster Relief Fund would not prove adequate in view of the magnitude of the tragedy. He said an additional special project assistance of Rs 1,000 crore will be made available by the Union government to the State for flood relief and rehabilitation. He added that more assistance would be provided, if required, after a proper survey of the situation had been made.
Rs 2,00,000 will be provided to the next of kin of each person whose life has been lost in this calamity and Rs 50,000 would be provided to each person who is grievously injured. This would be provided from the Prime Minister`s Relief Fund (PMRF).
To meet the immediate need of providing shelter to those who have lost their homes, the Central government will provide 5,000 tents from the armed forces and the Central paramilitary forces. These will be moved from Monday onwards to various locations in the State. Rs 5 crores will be provided from the PMRF to purchase 1,00,000 blankets to the needy in this cold weather. In order to supplement food supply to children, the Central government will airlift 50 tonnes of milk powder. One consignment of essential medicines is being airlifted today evening to meet the emergency needs. More will be supplied subsequently as required.
Teams of the Department of Telecom have been directed to restore telecommunication links in the fastest possible manner to the affected areas. Army engineers are working to repair damaged bridges. Boats have been requisitioned from Gujarat and Maharashtra.
2,000 solar lamps will be provided to help those where power supply has been lost.
The prime minister called upon other States to also pitch in with relief assistance in whatever way they could. He said planes bringing relief material to the State would airlift stranded tourists on the way back. He appreciated the rescue and relief work being done by the Armed Forces and NDRF personnel working in close coordination. He also expressed his anguish at the loss that has been caused in neighbouring areas in POK.
In this hour of distress, the prime minister offered all possible assistance to the people of the region and said that the Government of India was ready to provide humanitarian assistance to those areas if the Pakistan Government needs it.