Srinagar: It has been close to eight years since the September 2014 floods devastated Kashmir Valley. Since then, protests have been held against the government for not rehabilitating people as per policy. Now the same claims have been found to be true by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India, in its latest report tabled in the recent parliament session.
As per the report, the government has achieved none of the targets it set for itself for the rehabilitation of people affected by floods in Jammu and Kashmir. It includes monetary relief, enhancing the flood-bearing capacity of water channels, and revival of businesses.
The report stated that of the total number of houses that were damaged by the floods was 92,120 in Srinagar, but 86,973 households were helped under SDRF, while 78,633 families got PMNRF support and only 77,569 were helped under PMDP. The households were supposed to get help under all these heads.
Hearsay that has been making rounds since the distribution of relief began was that a lot of money was poured into houses which were not damaged at all by the floods. Now the CAG testifies to it. It said that in the seven tehsils of Jammu, it has identified 184 families who received Rs 63.45 lakh without any damage to their properties.
Regarding the rehabilitation of business, the CAG said that a scheme meant for helping debtors in clearing their debt had faced issues as well. It said that out of the release of Rs 190.20 crore to Jammu Kashmir Bank, about Rs 41.32 crore was provided to only 19 borrowers among which 10 who were not touched by the floods but still got Rs 21.02 crore.
The flood management side, too, was not implemented in full. The government’s plan was to increase the water carrying capacity of its rivers so that the floods in future could be prevented. It was supposed to remove the silt, clear the structures, and dirt at many places. It failed in doing so.
One of those examples is found in the river Jhelum. Of the seven lakh cubic metres of river bed material to be dredged, only 12 percent was dredged until January 2017. After this, the dredging was shifted to other places. One spot was never even touched out of the total six identified places.