Srinagar: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today announced a slew of relief measures, including a special package of Rs 745-crore package, from his relief fund for the flood-affected people of Jammu and Kashmir.
The Prime Minister said while Rs 570 crore would be provided by the Centre for renovation of houses, Rs 175 crore will be given for start of immediate renovation work of six major hospitals across the state.
Modi said the grant of money for renovation of the hospitals would also cover immediate procurement of new equipments and machines.
The Prime Minister told reporters after meeting Chief Minister Omar Abdullah that he was "seriously considering" a demand made by people whose houses were damaged by the flood waters if the money for their renovation could be directly sent to their bank accounts.
Briefing reporters about the Prime Minister's visit, Union Home Secretary Anil Goswami said Modi also announced free replacement of books and notebooks to all the children upto primary and upper primary schools.
Goswami said the package announced by the Prime Minister today was not linked to the memorandum submitted by the state government seeking a special package of Rs 44,000 crore for rehabilitation of flood victims.
Appropriate funds will be released after examination of the memorandum by the central government, he added.
According to a press release issued by the Home Secretary, the Prime Minister has stated that good governance, quick restoration of public infrastructure, revival of economic activity and creation of a conducive environment for bringing tourists to the state is the key to bring back normalcy.
The Prime Minister said his visit to Srinagar on the occassion of Deepawali will send out a signal that every thing is fine in the Valley and this will help promote tourism.
The Prime Minister, who arrived here from Siachen, was briefed by Chief Minister Omar Abdullah about the status of relief and rehabilitation operations in the state and sought liberal financial assistance from the Centre to rebuild the devastated areas.
Omar had yesterday expressed the hope the Prime Minister would accept the state government's demand for a Rs 44,000- crore package for relief to the flood-hit people.
After taking stock of the situation at the airport here, Modi said whatever the state government had earlier stated was being verified by the Centre.
He later flew in a helicopter to the Raj Bhawan and held interactions with delegations of political parties, business community and civil society.
This is Modi's second visit to J&K after the recent floods. During his first visit on 7 September after the natural calamity struck the state, the Prime Minister had announced a Rs 1,000-crore special assistance package for rehabilitation of the victims.
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Updated Date: Oct 24, 2014 10:27:38 IST