Jammu And Kashmir To Start Restoration Of Flood-hit Infrastructure

10 June 2015
Greater Kashmir
Abid Bashir

Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir government is shortly starting reconstruction of flood-hit infrastructure in Jammu and Kashmir while undertaking some flood management projects as well, sources said Wednesday. According to sources, the state is set to start the reconstruction process as the World Bank has approved Rs 1600 crore financial assistance for the same. Of the approved amount, the sources said, the government has kept Rs 480 crore for re-construction of state's roads and buildings and Rs 300 crore for putting in place Urban Flood Management System (UFMS). The government has got the WB assistance approved on June 3 under the 'Jehlum and Tawi Recovery Project', the sources added. According to officials, privy to the World Bank funding and its components, an important part of the package is the special focus it has laid on reconstruction of drainage system in the state under the UFMS keeping in view the drainage failure that leads to flood-like situation every time it rains for a few days together. Reliable sources told Greater Kashmir that out Rs 1600 crore loan package, Rs 480 crore would be spend on re-construction of roads alone. 'Roads need to be prioritized. The amount would be utilized in re-construction of roads and bridges that got damaged due to the devastating deluge last September,' they said. Similarly, Rs 300 crore would be spent on UFMS that will cover re-construction of poor drainage system including that of Srinagar which gets inundated and waterlogged due to rainfall. Sources said under the UFMS, focus would also be to put in place a permanent flood management system. The government will also spend Rs 360 crore on re-construction of 'Critical Infrastructure' that got damaged due to September floods. This includes schools, colleges and hospitals. Sources said Rs 300 crore would be spent on restoration of damaged houses and Rs 150 crore on capacity building. The WB had maintained that besides re-constructing infrastructure, the package is aimed at strengthening capacity of J&K government to manage natural disasters. The project 'Jehlum and Tawi Recovery' will be funded by credit from the International Development Association (IDA)-the World Bank's concessionary lending arm with a maturity of 25 years, including a five year grace period, a WB statement read. Talking to Greater Kashmir, Finance Minister DrHaseebDrabu termed the WB package 'a good beginning.' 'We are very happy over the Word Bank's speedy approval. It is the start of a process. We take relief and rehabilitation of flood victims as a process, and not an event. We hope to get more funding from various diversified resources,' he said. 'The WB assistance has helped us to set the process of relief and rehabilitation rolling. It was due to our efforts that in just three months (of taking the reins of PDP-BJP government), the WB approved the assistance.'