Nod for Rs 1,568-cr J&K reconstruction

New Delhi, May 24 | Updated: May 25 2007, 07:19am hrs
The government on Thursday cleared a financial package of Rs 1,568.34 crore for Jammu and Kashmir for reconstruction of buildings, hospitals and roads, which were damaged during the 2005 earthquake.

Announcing the decision, after a Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, information and broadcasting minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi said the government approved three financial aid packages. "This will enable the state to undertake long-term reconstruction of the damaged infrastructure including housing," he said.

The J&K reconstruction plan, comprising Rs 635.88 crore, will be for rebuilding the earthquake-affected areas in the state. The plan would be implemented over a period of two years ending 2007-08.

The move comes following the state's inability to utilise the money in the previous year. With the fresh Cabinet decision, the state could get its unspent money as well. The Centre also cleared the additional assistance for implementing the reconstruction plan in the form of a grant component of Rs 572.29 crore and a loan component of Rs 63.59 crore.

Also, the centre released grants of Rs 150 crore in 2006-07 and Rs 146.58 crore during the current fiscal. The decision would allow the state government to access its lapsed funds from the previous fiscal. The state continues with its rehabilitation work even after one-and-half years from the time of the devastating earthquake that rocked parts of Afghanistan and northern India on October 8, 2005.

J&K was the worst affected and the districts of Poonch, Baramulla, Jammu, Udhampur, Ramban Kathus, Srinagar, Budgam, Anantnag, Pulwama and Kupwara were badly hit.