Govt Releases Rs 2,437 Crore Development Fund For Flood-Ravaged Jammu & Kashmir

16/06/2015 8:55 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST
TAUSEEF MUSTAFA via Getty Images
Kashmiri residents walk through floodwaters outside their homes as water levels rise on Dal Lake in Srinagar on April 1, 2015. Many low lying areas in Indian Kashmir were flooded for the second time since September last year. On March 30, fifteen members of two families including a three-week old baby died after they were buried alive by a landslide caused by incessant rains flooding in the region. But officials sounded hope as water levels in River Jhelum, that causes the biggest threat of flooding in Srinagar, continued to decrease. AFP PHOTO/Tauseef MUSTAFA (Photo credit should read TAUSEEF MUSTAFA/AFP/Getty Images)

The Narendra Modi government announced development aid of Rs 2,437 crore for Jammu and Kashmir, which had suffered large scale destruction in floods last year.

The fresh funds are in addition to the Rs 2,602 crore that the central government had provided the state for floods in September 2014, when the Jhelum river breached its banks and inundated Srinagar's streets, and forced tens of thousands to flee their homes and settle in refugee camps. The administration of Omar Abdullah was widely blamed as incompetent in handling the crisis and this sentiment contributed to its defeat in the state elections.

Sindhushree Khullar, Chief Executive Officer of Niti Aayog, and Expenditure Secretary Ratan Watal will visit the state and prepare a report on future development needs, said Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Home Minister Rajnath Singh in a joint press conference.

"We will make a larger development plan. The officials will discuss with the state and give their views to the Centre on areas like power, highway, education, tourism and health services," Jaitley said. He added that the government will fully support the state in completing its development agenda.

The Peoples Development Party and the Bharatiya Janata Party are partners in a coalition government in the state after elections earlier this year in which Abdullah's National Conference suffered defeat.

Singh said that the central government has also decided to give foodgrains at Below Poverty Lines (BPL) prices. In addition, 75,000 houses that were damaged in the floods will be rebuilt under the new aid grant.

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