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Rehabilitation process to start from Sunday
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October 15, 2005 17:03 IST

In a bid to quicken the rehabilitation process ahead of the onset of winter, the government will start distributing Rs 40,000 from Sunday. This is the first instalment for people to rebuild their houses in quake-hit areas of Jammu and Kashmir [Images].

"We will start giving Rs 40,000 each to those whose houses have been damaged and this exercise will be completed by the end of next week," Secretary (Border Management) in the Union Home Ministry, D K Sankaran, told reporters at a briefing on Saturday on relief and rehabilitation measures being undertaken in the state.

Financial grant upto Rs 1 lakh for each family for house construction and repair, building community shelters and providing expertise for quake-resistant structures are key components of a three-pronged government plan unveiled for quake-hit areas of Kupwara, Uri, Tangdhar in Kashmir valley and Poonch district of Jammu region.

Asked about shortage of tents for the affected people, Sankaran said, at present, about 16,000 tents had already been sent to the state and this figure would increase to 20,000 to 22,000 in the next few days.

The demand of about 35,000 tents along with about 2,000 portable cabins would be met by next week, he said. To a question if relief measures had reached all the areas in the state hit by the quake, he said about six to nine villages were still to be covered.

According to the Home Ministry, 36,693 houses in Srinagar [Images] division and 914 in Jammu division have been damaged by the quake with Uri and Tangdhar areas in Baramulla and the Kupwara district having borne the brunt.

Several heritage and important buildings damaged include Charar-i-Sharief shrine in Budgam, Police Lines Building at Baramulla, Moti Mahal and Field Ambulance Building in Poonch, Reasi Fort and Civil Hospital in Tangdhar.

Sankaran, who briefed the media along with Director General of Military Operations Lieutenant General Madan Gopal and J&K Resident Commissioner Pervez Dewan, said rain and moderate snowfall in certain areas in the valley were unlikely to affect the relief operations since the security forces and the people of the region were used to working in such conditions.

The Border Management secretary said tents were being acquired from across the country, including from tsunami-hit areas in Andaman and Nicobar islands, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, besides 1,000 tents each being supplied by the Army per day from Kanpur.

The Centre has already announced Rs 600 crore besides Rs 42 crore from the calamity relief fund towards relief and rehabilitation measures.

At a meeting with the industry top brass on Thursday convened by Prime Minister's Principal Secretary T K A Nair, industry associations have committed Rs 25 crore in cash and kind for the victims.

Complete coverage: Tremors across borders

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