J&K Minister Praises Army Role In Quake Relief
9 October 2006
The Times of India
Srinagar: A senior Jammu and Kashmir Minister has lauded the role of army in the aftermath of devastating earthquake of October 8 last year saying the timely action of armed forces helped in saving hundreds of lives in Uri and Tangdhar areas. Army was first to carry out rescue and relief operations, evacuating the injured and dead from the debris. The army restored the damaged infrastructure and did other rehabilitation works, Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution Minister Taj Mohiuddin said at a function organised by Army and NGOs in Uri on Sunday. The Indian Air Force also operated several sorties to airlift injured to various hospitals and thus saved hundreds of precious lives, Mohiuddin said. Paying glowing tributes to those killed in the earthquake, he described the calamity beyond the control of anyone. 'Nobody can compensate the loss of precious human lives. The relief which was given to the survivors may provide some timely succor,' Mohiuddin said. The Minister lauded the central government for its role in helping the affected people. Immediately after the earthquake central government provided instant relief and monetary assistance to the affected people for their rehabilitation, he said. 'It is because of timely assistance that normalcy was restored in the affected areas, he added. Mohiuddin said after the earthquake Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi visited the quake-affected areas, took personal interest to mitigate the problems of sufferers and rushed all possible assistance and relief. He said the state government, despite having limited resources, also provided compensation to the affected families. Rs 40,000 were given to those families whose houses were fully damaged and Rs 30,000 to those whose houses got partially damaged. In addition to it, Rs 35,000 were given to the families whose houses were fully damaged for the construction of temporary sheds, he said. The Minister said the government has already sanctioned another installment of Rs 60,000 for the construction of the houses to the families who are living in temporary sheds and the amount would be given to them near their doorsteps. Mohiuddin later distributed solar lights, stationary, shawls besides other household things among the aged, children and women donated by NGOs like Help Age India in collaboration with Life Help Centre, Chennai and Global Green Peace, Kashmir.