Jairam Ramesh announces Rs 340 crore package for Uttarakhand



New Delhi: Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh on Thursday announced a separate Rs 340 crore special package for Uttarakhand for constructing village roads in the flood-ravaged hill state.

In view of the calamity, the Rural Development Ministry is also working for giving special assistance to Uttarakhand for constructing village houses under its ambitious Indira Awas Yojana (IAY).

The minister's decision came a day after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announced a Rs 1,000 crore special flood relief package to the state.

"Ministry of Rural Development is working on special road and housing package for Uttarkhand in view of calamity. Next week we are going to consider 82 roads and 27 bridges -- total 664 kms -- at a total cost of about Rs 340 crores. This we will sanction next week," Ramesh said here.

This programme will be implemented in 18 months, he said.

In February this year, the ministry had already sanctioned 118 roads and 8 bridges -- 1,140 kms in all -- at a total cost of Rs 472 crore for Uttarakhand.

"Over and above this, special package for roads will be sanctioned next week," he said.

The normal allocation for Indira Awas Yojana (IAY) in 2013-14 was about 14,000 houses for poor families at the rate of Rs 75,000. This will cost around Rs 105 crore.

"But they are entitled to special assistance because of this unprecedented natural calamity. The state government will make a damage assessment on how many families have lost their houses, then they will come back, we will examine their demands," Ramesh said indicating that the ministry was ready to sanction another Rs 100 crore for a rural housing programme in the state.

PTI