Shujaat Bukhari

Ex gratia to kin of victims

SRINAGAR: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad on Tuesday announced an immediate relief of Rs. 50 lakhs for the flood-hit areas of Leh and Kargil and said that all other assistance would be given.

After conducting an aerial survey of the affected areas, Mr. Azad chaired a meeting of the district administration in Leh, where he was briefed about the flood damage and the immediate relief measures taken.

Assurance

"The magnitude of damage is beyond imagination and demands not only immediate relief but also restoration of infrastructure," he said assuring full support to the people.

He asked the administration to remain vigilant even after the rains stopped.

Accompanied by Power Minister Nawang Rigzin Jora, Social Welfare Minister Haji Nissar Ali and others, he said that Ladakh was flood-prone and planning was needed to combat the problem. The Chief Minister directed the authorities to make an assessment of the losses within 24 hours and submit a report for assistance.

Asking the district administration to provide relief to the affected and ensure protection of people in vulnerable areas, he stressed the need for quick restoration of connectivity.

He announced an ex gratia relief of Rs. 50,000 to the next of kin of flood victims in Leh and Kargil and one month's free ration to the affected families.

Deputy Commissioner of Leh Manoj K. Diwedi told The Hindu that on Tuesday the water level had started receding as the rains had stopped.

He said 60 houses were fully damaged and 150 partially. Infrastructure also had suffered heavy damage with 22 motorable bridges and 60 foot bridges completely damaged cutting off various areas from Leh.

Mr. Diwedi said that one Nepali labourer was killed while five persons were rescued.

Mr. Azad announced relief of Rs. 10,000 each for owners of completely damaged houses and an additional Rs. 10,000 from the Chief Minister's Relief Fund. For owners of partially damaged houses, Rs. 2,000 would be paid out of the Chief Minister's Relief Fund in addition to Rs. 2,000 under the normal relief programme, he said.