Governor reviews flood relief and border firing problems

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JAMMU:  Mr. N.N. Vohra, Governor, today chaired a high level meeting at Civil Secretariat, Jammu, to review the to date status of providing relief and rehabilitation to the people affected by floods as well as those affected by the Cross Border Firing. As per prior arrangement the meeting was attended by Mr. Anil Goswami, Union Home Secretary. From the J&K Govt. the meeting was attended by the Chief Secretary, Mr. Mohd. Iqbal Khandey, DGP, Administrative Secretaries, Divisional Commissioner Jammu and Deputy Commmissioners of Jammu, Samba and Kathua districts.

In his opening remarks, the Governor recalled his recent discussions with the Union Home Minister who had agreed to support the State Government’s proposal to extend immediate additional relief out of the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF) to the people whose houses were severely or partially damaged. It had also been agreed to support the proposal for providing urgent assistance for the revival of small business enterprises. He noted that for expediting consideration of the other components of the Special Financial  Package, the Ministry of Home Affairs will continue to be the Nodal Ministry for coordinating the action with the various  concerned Ministries and Departments of the Government of India.

The Union Home Secretary assured full support of the Ministry of Home Affairs in regard to the provision of maximum possible relief to the flood victims. He noted that a World Bank team is presently visiting the State to consider various proposals for funding the reconstruction of flood damaged assets. Consequent to detailed sector wise discussions the Governor directed all the concerned Administrative Secretaries to prepare sector wise proposals of the different proposals contained in the Special Financial Package and ensure that the same are forwarded most early to the concerned Central Ministries, with copies to the Union Home Ministry, to enable very early decisions.

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In the aforesaid context, the Raj Bhavan spokesperson recalled that an amount of Rs. 1102.56 crore has already been sanctioned from the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF), to meet the expenditure incurred by the State Government for the immediate relief and restoration of damaged infrastructure, and the action now required to be taken most urgently is to prepare sector wise specific proposals for submission to the Govt. of India.

While reviewing the issues relating to people affected by cross border firing, the Chief Secretary informed that all the issues flagged by the Ministry of Home Affairs had been reviewed and the State Revenue and Home Departments have been directed to expedite all acquisition of land cases  for construction of flood protection bund, link roads and other works which are urgently required to strengthen border management. After discussions, the Governor directed that all required process in regard to the acquisition of land must be fully completed by 31st March, 2015 and the Divisional Commissioner (Jammu) shall be responsible for ensuring this.

The Governor drew attention to the urgent need for rationalizing the scale of compensation being paid for injury or loss of life to various categories of persons who are being injured or killed as a result of terrorist action or cross-border firing incidents. The Union Home Secretary agreed to undertake a comprehensive review of the compensation presently payable to the victims of various categories of civilians, police and central armed police personnels and the Army. The issues relating to feasibility of allotment of plots at safer places and construction of community bunkers in the affected villages were discussed in detail and it was decided that the Union Home Secretary would discuss the location of bunker issues with all the concerned uniformed forces to evolve an agreed view.

Issues relating to status of rehabilitation of Kashmiri migrants, their recruitment in the State Government, and construction of accommodation for those returning to Kashmir Valley were also reviewed. The Chief Secretary requested the Union Home Secretary to expedite urgent decisions on the package proposals already submitted for promoting the return of the migrants to Jammu to return to their erstwhile houses.

The Governor urged the Union Home Secretary to secure special emphasis for augmenting the allocations under the Border Area Management Programme so that the developmental efforts in the border areas can be accelerated. It was informed that Joint Secretary (Kashmir) and Joint Secretary (Border Management) will visit the State every month for expediting action on various issues in regard to relief and rehabilitation of the people affected by floods, border firing, issues etc.