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Sanction adequate flood relief package for J&K: Parliament panel

Posted on July 27, 2015

New Delhi: Almost a year after devastating floods, a parliamentary panel has urged the Centre to sanction adequate relief package for Jammu and Kashmir apart from revising compensation amount for damaged houses and processing a detailed report to conserveDal Lake “expeditiously”.

The parliamentary standing committee on science and technology and environment and forest has also recommended dredging and desilting of water bodies in Srinagar on “war-footing” to enhance the holding capacity of these bodies.

For mitigating environmental pollution in Leh, the panel has recommended the constitution of an expert group to study ways and means to reconcile the growth of tourism with imperatives of preserving the ecology.

“Dredging/desilting of water bodies should be undertaken on war footing so that carrying/holding capacity of the water bodies could be enhanced. Old drainage system of Srinagar should be replaced with new one that could cope with future exigencies.

“Central government should sanction suitable and adequate relief package to state government and actively engage with the state administration to bring relief to the people,” the committee chaired by former Union Minister Ashwani Kumar said.

Concerned over unprecedented floods in the context of climate change in Srinagar and failure of warning and forcasting of flood system, members of the committee visited Srinagar, Leh, Jammu and Pathankot and interacted with central and state government agencies as well as members of civil societies.

The committee also said that the state government should look into the issue of providing relief to those people who have not got any type of relief while compensation for partially or fully damaged houses should be suitably revised.

“Central Water commission should process detailed project report submitted by the state government for conservation of Dal Lake expeditiously,” the committee said in its report.

It said that effect of cement factories in Khrew area on environment should be examined and a detailed project with facts should be prepared and submitted to the Central Pollution Control Board and the committee.

It also urged the Earth Sciences Ministry and IMD to coordinate and integrate their efforts with state and ensure timely warning and forcasting for such calamities, particularly floods.

Giving its recommendations about Leh, the committee recommended that the government should constitute an expert group to study ways to reconcile the growth of tourism with imperatives of preserving the ecology.

It said municipal agencies concerned must ensure that solid waste is disposed off in an environment friendly manner, while observing that action is required to be taken for the setting up of a sanitary landfill for disposal of municipal and solid waste, for which Leh District Master plan 2009 has earmarked a land approximately 28 kms from Leh.

“Three stations under the National Air Quality Mounting Programme for Leh – Leh, Zanskar and Nubra should be made operational at the earliest,” the committee said.

The proposal for monitoring of water pollution by six new stations at Leh Nalla, Indus river, Pangong Lake, Tsomoriri Lake, Niddar Nallah and Hunder Tokpo should be taken up by the state pollution control board on priority basis and decision conveyed to the Leh district administration.

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