Declare flood in J&K a national calamity: CPI(M)

Terming the Centre's flood relief package to Jammu and Kashmir as "insufficient", CPI(M) on Monday asked the government to declare the devastation a 'national calamity' and come out with a more comprehensive package for the people there.

New Delhi: Terming the Centre's flood relief package to Jammu and Kashmir as "insufficient", CPI(M) on Monday asked the government to declare the devastation a 'national calamity' and come out with a more comprehensive package for the people there.

"This is also an opportunity for the central government and the rest of India to display their emotional connectivity with the people of the Valley. This government must rise to this occasion on the lines we suggest," the party said in a memorandum to Home Minister Rajnath Singh.

The memorandum was submitted when a CPI(M) delegation, comprising senior leader Sitaram Yechury and the party's J and K Secretary Mohd Yusuf Tarigami, met the Home Minister here.

In the memorandum, Yechury said he had personally seen the devastation across the state and described the condition of the people as "really pathetic". At many places, "no government or any other agency has reached till date to provide any help or relief."

The Centre must immediately declare this devastation as a "national disaster" and take all the consequent measures to provide immediate relief and rehabilitation, it said.

Maintaining that the package announced by the Prime Minister was "insufficient", it said the Centre "must come forward with a more comprehensive package, particularly for the rehabilitation of the people who have been rendered homeless and face total uncertainty regarding their future."

Observing that business and tourism commerce has been "virtually decimated" in the state, particularly in the Valley, it said measures must be taken urgently to revitalise business and commercial activities while ensuring new employment opportunities for the youth. PTI ARC PAL

The party also said a lot of arable land has been

devastated, cattle and all standing crops virtually destroyed in the state, especially in the Valley. "Immediate concrete relief measures for farmers and adequate compensation for the loss of standing crops must be announced."

It said there was "widespread feeling and anger amongst some sections of the people which was reflected when we visited the state, the Valley particularly, that offers of foreign assistance to help the victims of this disaster are not being accepted by the central government."

CPI(M) sought a clear statement from the Centre on this issue "to scotch unnecessary speculation on this score which can be very damaging for the objective of securing the confidence of the people in the valley."  

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