Srinagar: Chief Minister, Mufti Muhammad Sayed Wednesday distributed relief cheques to 650 flood-hit traders from Srinagar.
The assistance, handed over as cheques to the traders whose turnover is less than Rs 5, 00,000 and to several of the destitute from the district, was provided out of the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund as a “startup incentive”.
“We will also provide Rs 50,000 each to the destitute. We disbursed relief in Srinagar today. The victims in Anantnag and Pulwama will be provided compensation tomorrow, to be followed by the victims of other districts,” Sayeed said.
In the following phases, another 1,000 victims from here are likely be provided cash relief once their verification process completes.
“To start with, all the uninsured traders and shopkeepers whose turnover is up to Rs 5 lakh will be provided Rs 1 lakh compensation, while those whose turnover is less than Rs 10 lakh will be given cash assistance of Rs 1.50 lakh by the government. The uninsured traders whose turnover was more than Rs 10 lakh, will be given cash assistance of Rs 2 lakh,” the CM announced.
Recollecting the horror of the floods, Sayeed said the people have gone through very difficult times and restoration of their livelihoods is “on top of my government’s agenda”.
“I cannot rest till I compensate one and all. I have seen destruction and hopelessness surrounding us. Revival of assets and income will help rebuild lives of those who lost everything in floods,” he said.
The CM said the last year’s disaster has adversely affected the economic growth of the state and his “government will go step-by-step in providing relief to the people”.
Sayeed said he has discussed with Prime Minister Narendra Modi the issue of prioritizing infrastructure restoration in sectors including education, health, roads, and irrigation, and housing sectors.
New Delhi, he said, promised to rehabilitate and rebuild infrastructure by providing a “special financial dispensation”.
“In my meeting with the Prime Minister, I have been assured of support in rehabilitating the affected populace and rebuilding infrastructure,” he said and asserted that he will only demand as much funds as are actually required by the state.
Sayeed said the government would seek expertise in designing houses that can withstand the fury of floods.
“We will be seeking technical help in developing calamity-resistant prototypes,” he said, adding that “in future, through better coordination of various agencies involved, advance information on threats posed by natural calamities will be made available to the people”.
About restoring the private infrastructure, he said: “The damage to the houses has been unprecedented. Although the previous government provided compensation to the victims under SDRF norms, we will leave no stone unturned to adequately compensate those whose houses have been fully or partially damaged.”
Mentioning dredging of Jhelum on Sopore-Baramulla stretch, which saved much of north Kashmir from inundation last year, the CM said the government “will strengthen river embankments and undertake de-siltation, absence of which was a major catalyst for disaster”.
He said the state would take up New Delhi “a Comprehensive Flood Management Programme to save the Valley from future threats when discharge in the rivers crosses the danger level”.
Speaking on the occasion, the Deputy Chief Minister Dr Nirmal Singh said the government “is pledged to compensate the smalltime traders and destitute who were ruined in the September deluge”.
He said the government is aware of the difficulties being faced by those shopkeepers who saw their assets get washed away in the floods.
“The government, with the help from Centre, will take all required measures to help the people who are in need,” he added.