October 2005 News

3-pronged Rehabilitation Strategy For Quake-hit Areas

14 October 2005
The Tribune

Srinagar: The Centre and Jammu and Kashmir government have adopted a three- pronged rehabilitation strategy for the quake-hit areas of the state by involving financial assistance, construction of community shelters and making available expert opinion for raising quake-resistant structures. This decision was taken at a meeting between the Chief Minister, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, and Union Minister for Urban Development Ghulam Nabi Azad here today. Deputy Chief Minister Mangat Ram Sharma, some state ministers and senior officers were present, an official spokesman said. The meeting discussed options of reconstruction of the damaged houses in view of the fast approaching winter and decided to provide immediate financial and technical assistance to the victims of the earthquake for rebuilding their houses themselves in the right earnest. An assistance of Rs 1 lakh would be given to each affected family for reconstruction with Rs 40,000 as the first instalment. For the minor damages to houses, the owners would be provided an assistance of Rs 10, 000. The assistance would be given through cheques only. The Union Urban Development Ministry is also to construct 20 community centres in Tangdhar and Uri, the two worst-affected areas, to accommodate about 6,000 quake- hit people. The meeting observed that even as relief material like blankets, medicines and other articles was arriving, the tents would not be sufficient and in the face of the approaching winter, community centres would be constructed to provide shelter to the affected people. However, the affected people would simultaneously start reconstruction of their houses for which building material like cement, iron and timber would be made available. The experts would construct model structures at various quake-hit areas for the local people to be adopted in the construction of their buildings. These would guide them in choosing the materials and the design to be used for making the structures quake resistant. The experts, who have visited the calamity sites, said there were certain important things missing in the construction of the houses that led to massive damage to property. For instance, they said stone masonry walls were without any mortar and window area in walls was more than one-third as it ought to have been less in such areas. These aspects would have to be taken into account in future constructions, they said and suggested the span of rooms to be less than 15 ft. to withstand tremor.


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