JAMMU: Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party (JKNPP) today sought "due share" for Jammu region of the World Bank grant for reconstruction of public infrastructure in flood-ravaged Jammu and Kashmir.
Cautioning that the "people of Jammu would vociferously oppose the discriminatory policies of the BJP-PDP government on provision of relief to the flood victims of Jammu region," JKNPP Chairman, Harsh Dev Singh said the party is seeking due share in the World Bank grant of Rs 1,600 crore for Jammu region.
He said that unlike the victims in Kashmir who only lost their houses and other belongings, the Jammu flood victims "suffered immensely" including loss of lives, livestock, erosion of agricultural fields, landslides, heavy loss of public infrastructure, residential houses, standing crops, washing away of several villages like Saddal and Panjar having been completely washed, leaving 40 dead in one village only.
"The loss to public infrastructure in Jammu has been immense which called for rehabilitation measures on war footing," he said.
He alleged that the "meager" funds provided earlier for the purpose were also swindled halfway by the middlemen with hardly any visible impact having been created on the ground.
Calling for an effective surveillance mechanism for utilising the sanctioned funds and ensuring complete transparency in their utilisation, Singh warned the state government to refrain from divesting Jammu from its "due and equitable share" in the rehabilitation process.
Alleging regional bias in the recommendations of the central teams, Singh said, "The parliamentary panel on Water Resources headed by Hukam Singh with MP from Kashmir, T H Qarra, as its member had announced Rs 401 crore flood management project for Kashmir and assured its early sanction, it already having been cleared by Central water commission.
"Not a word was however said about irrigation or flood projects for Jammu by the said committee," he added.
The said Parliamentary committee further assured to get early clearance from Union Water Resources Ministry for Rs 2,083 crore flood management project for Kashmir that would ensure construction of an alternate flood spill channel from Dogripura in district Pulwama upto wuller lake, he said.
In addition, he said, Rs 79 crore project for conservation of Jhelum and Rs 278 crore under JNNURM for de-congestion of old Srinagar city have already received the central nod to the complete neglect of Jammu region.
Demanding strict compliance with the World Bank's anti-corruption guidelines in the implementation of Rehabilitation Project sanctioned for restoration of infrastructure, he said that the state government has ensure that the relief measures percolate down to the grassroot level.