Centre asked not to shrug off re-building flood-hit Kashmir

New Delhi, Dec 28 (IANS) Three months after unprecedented floods ravaged many parts of Jammu and Kashmir, a parliamentary panel has warned the central government against “procrastination” on rebuilding the state, asking it not to “shrug off” responsibility.

A report of a parliamentary committee of the home ministry also said that relief has not reached in the interior villages, especially those affected with extremism, and added that it is a matter of “winning hearts”.
“Since J&K is a strategic and a sensitive state, therefore it needs to be rebuilt without any procrastination,” the parliamentary panel said in a report tabled in parliament.
“The committee is of the considered view that the central government should not shrug off its responsibility in re-building the state by taking the plea that activities concerning the long-term rehabilitation programme fall within the jurisdiction of the state government.”
“The committee, therefore, recommends that the central government should extend all support to the state government at the time of unprecedented crisis,” it said.
The panel also urged the central government to extend “requisite financial assistance” to Jammu and Kashmnir government.
“The committee feels that resource reach was not there in the interior valley, particularly in those villages which are known to have extremism problems,” the report said.
The panel said that the people’s reach to relief and other things was grossly inadequate despite the claim of both the central and state governments that there was no dearth of resources.
“…There was increased feeling among the affected people that relief was not reaching to them in spite of generous help from all quarters/countries… the problem is not merely a question of providing relief to the people who are victims of natural disaster, but of winning hearts with relief service in their distress,” said the panel, asking the government to plug the loopholes.
The panel also commended the armed forces for their contribution in the relief and rehabilitation work.
At the same time, it rapped the then Jammu and Kashmir government for being “caught on sleeping mode at the time of disaster”.