Def Min raises Rs 500-cr bill for J&K flood assistance
The Ministry was paid Rs 500 crore by the Union government as the amount was adjusted from the Rs 1,602.56-crore assistance given to the state government from its share in the National Disaster Relief Fund (NDRF) for dealing with the floods last September.
The state government was informed about the Rs 500-crore bill by the Union Home Ministry through a letter dated February 6. "The high-level committee in its meeting held on 30.01.2015 ... approved the following assistance – Rs 1,602.56 crore from NDRF subject to adjustment of 90 <g data-gr-id="26">per cent</g> balance available in SDRF account of the state. This includes payment of air bills for airdropping of essential supplies and rescue (tentatively Rs 500 crore) as per actual, based on the bills raised by the Ministry of Defence," the letter reads.
Over 300 people died and over 12 lakh were affected in the floods that devastated large parts of Kashmir, including Srinagar. More than two lakh people, including tourists and <g data-gr-id="25">non</g>- Kashmiri labourers, were rescued and essential supplies like food, water and medicine were air-dropped in what the armed forces called "Operation Megh Rahat".
The Centre had dismissed reports that the Ministry of Defence had raised any such bill against the Jammu and Kashmir government for rescue and relief operations carried out during the devastating floods.
"I have checked with the Ministry of Defence. No such bill has been raised. There is no truth in the reports," the then Union Home Secretary Anil Goswami had said in October.
The matter was first reported by a local English daily in last October.
Showers bring respite to Jammu
Heavy rains lashed Jammu on Monday, bringing much-needed relief from the scorching heat wave that continued in the winter capital for the past few days. "These were monsoon showers which have reached Jammu," said Sonam Lotus, Director MeT Department. The showers, which continued for over one hour, has brought down the day temperature from 38 degrees Celsius to 26. "For the past few days, the weather was extremely hot in Jammu. Today's showers have brought the <g data-gr-id="42">much needed</g> respite for the residents of Jammu," said Harinder Singh, a resident.
Several places in Jammu, including the main roads, lanes and by-lanes witnessed waterlogging as these roads are full of potholes. Garbage was also seen overflowing at several places soon after the rains lashed the city. Agriculture experts believe that today's rainfall would be beneficial for the crops and fruits in the region.