Srinagar: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday announced a Rs 745 crore package for renovation of houses and six major hospitals damaged by the recent floods in Jammu and Kashmir.
He said while Rs 570 crore would be provided by the government for renovation of houses, Rs 175 crore will be given for start of immediate renovation work of six major hospitals across the state.
Modi said the grant of money for renovation of the hospitals would also cover immediate procurement of new equipments and machines.
The Prime Minister told reporters after meeting Chief Minister Omar Abdullah that he was “seriously considering” a demand made by people whose houses were damaged by the floodwaters if the money for their renovation could be directly sent to their bank accounts.
The Prime Minister, who arrived here from Siachen, said he has directed that immediate assistance be given to school children whose schools, books and note books have been damaged by the deluge so that there is no interruption in their studies.
Earlier, Omar Abdullah briefed Modi about the status of relief and rehabilitation operations in the state and sought liberal financial assistance from New Delhi to rebuild the devastated areas.
Omar had Wednesday expressed the hope the Prime Minister would accept the state government’s demand for a Rs 44,000- crore package for relief to the flood-hit people.
After taking stock of the situation at the airport here, Modi said whatever the state government had earlier stated was being verified by his government.
Modi said one of the demands of the people he met here Thursday was that “whatever assistance is given to the families that have suffered should, if possible, be transferred directly to their bank accounts as it would be more convenient for them”.
“I’ve given them the assurance that the government will look into the matter seriously, especially for (renovation of) damage to the buildings,” he said.
Referring to the condition of hospitals hit by the floods, he said when he had visited the state on September 7, one of the hospitals was under water. “Even in Leh, hospitals in Jammu and Srinagar…six major hospitals need immediate renovation work,” the PM said.
Modi said that “from the very first day, I have stated that my fellow Kashmiri countrymen, this suffering is not yours alone but of the entire country. The entire country stands should to shoulder with you”.
He also assured the people of the state that they will never have to face the shortage of anything and the government would wholeheartedly work for their rehabilitation.
Modi said that after the “serious problem arising out of the floods in Jammu and Kashmir, especially in Srinagar, I came here immediately on September 7 and gave a package of Rs 1000 crore.
“After one and a half months, I have come again to take stock of the situation. Today, my effort was to meet the citizens, different social and business groups to understand their problems and find solutions,” he said adding “it has been very helpful to understand the situation here.”
Meanwhile, according to Home Secretary Anil Goswami, the Prime Minister has stated that good governance, quick restoration of public infrastructure, revival of economic activity and creation of a conducive environment for bringing tourists to the state is the key to bring back normalcy.
Addressing reporters on the conclusion of the trip, Goswami said the PM has assured the state government of its help in the aftermath of the floods which struck the Valley last month.
“Prime Minister announced 570 crore for repairs of houses damaged in the floods as a part of Prime Minister’s Relief fund. Apart from it, 175 crore have been announced for restoration of hospitals in Jammu, Srinagar and Leh respectively,” Goswami said.
He said these funds are separate apart from JK government’s memorandum of losses for rehabilitation of flood-hit submitted to Union government. “The memorandum submitted by state government for rehabilitation is a separate entity altogether. What will be submitted out of the state government’s memorandum has nothing to with Prime Minister’s announcement and appropriate funds will be released after examination of the memorandum by the central government,” he said.
The Prime Minister, Goswami said has announced release of Rs 1000 crore and asked the state government to spent it quickly. “That Rs 1,000 crore announced by him during his last visit to the Valley has been released by the central government and the same needs to be spent quickly by the state government,” he added.
Terming the reports about the deduction of funds by Defense Ministry as “baseless”, he said no amount or bill has been raised by them.
“There is some information exchanged by various people about bills raised Defense Ministry. It’s baseless information as no such bills are there. Prime Minister announced free replacement of books and notebooks to all the children up to primary and upper primary level schools,” Goswami said, as he refused to take any question from reporters. (with PTI inputs)