SRINAGAR: Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced an additional relief package of `745 crore for the flood-hit Valley during his visit to the State on Thursday. He arrived here in the afternoon to spend Diwali with the people who lost everything in the calamity.
In a meeting with Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and other functionaries of the State government, the Prime Minister also took stock of the relief and rehabilitation work. He interacted with representatives of major political parties, fruit and saffron growers association, hoteliers, shikarawalas (houseboat owners), travel agents, NGO volunteers, academicians and members of the handloom sector. He assured them of help, adding that the country shares their grief.
“The Prime Minister reviewed the work related to re-construction and restoration of damaged houses and public infrastructure, including roads, bridges, schools and hospitals,” Union Home Secretary Anil Goswami told reporters at the Srinagar airport in the evening after Modi left for Delhi. He said the PM had sanctioned an additional `745 crore for the flood-hit State. “Around `570 crore has been sanctioned for repairs of houses and `175 crore for hospitals in Srinagar, Jammu and Leh,” Goswami said. Modi had already granted a relief package of `1,000 crore when he visited Kashmir in the immediate aftermath. The amount, Goswami said, has been released by the Centre.
Around 285 people were killed and thousands left homeless with over 3 lakh buildings, including houses, destroyed by the floods.