HC questions government’s stand over the issue
The J&K High Court Friday castigated the government for commemorating anniversary of the floods that struck Kashmir on 7th of September 2014, saying it (govt) was still undecided on granting the much-needed relief package to the people.
The previous J&K government had sought a Rs 44000 crore relief package from Union of India in the aftermath of the destructive floods of September 2014.
However, the Centre is still non-committal about providing the package for rehabilitation of the people affected and impacted by the floods recorded as worst in the past 100 years in the region.
Hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) on the “cold-hearted approach” of the government on the rehabilitation of the affected people, a division bench of the J&K High Court including Chief Justice N P Vasanthakumar and Justice B L Bhat today observed “Now you (govt) are celebrating one year anniversary (of the floods) and still you are undecided (about the Rs 44000 crore package)”.
“What is your stand?” the bench asked the Government of India.
The court ordered the counsel appearing for Union of India to submit compliance report on Thursday.
“On that day, policy for grant of relief formulated prior to 1-4-2014 shall be filed,” it ordered further.
S A Makroo, counsel representing the Union of India, pleaded the court to grant it two weeks time to disclose the stand on the Rs 44000 crores relief and rehabilitation package.
The Chief Justice also asked the government to clear its policy for grant of relief to flood victims and asked it to produce it before the court.
The court had earlier asked the Government of India to appraise it as to “what happened to the Rs 4400 crore relief package?”
The floods in September 2014 had caused havoc across the state, affecting over 15,00,000 families in 5,794 villages.
The J&K Government assessment put the cumulative flood losses to the tune of Rs 1 lakh crore in different sectors of the economy and hoped liberal Central government assistance for providing succor to the affected people.
It also estimated that there was loss to the tune of Rs 35,000 crore to the government infrastructure and structures including residential houses. The loss to the shops, business establishments and tourism sector was estimated at Rs 65, 000 crore.
It reported crop loss in 6.52 lakh hectares of land besides huge losses to the public and private infrastructure.