Rs 500 cr deducted from J&K flood fundhttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/defence-ministry-raises-rs-500-cr-bill-for-flood-assistance-to-jk/

Rs 500 cr deducted from J&K flood fund

More than two lakh people, including tourists and non-Kashmiri labourers, were rescued and essential supplies like food, water and medicine were air-dropped in what the armed forces called "Operation Megh Rahat".

Kashmiri villagers and officials search for bodies following landslides due to heavy rainfall in the village of Laden at Chadoora. (Source: Express Photo by Shuaib Masoodi)
Over 300 people died and more than 12 lakh people were affected in the floods that devastated large parts of Kashmir, including Srinagar.

Even as senior ministers in the Jammu and Kashmir government are hopeful that Centre will release a huge package for the flood victims in the coming weeks, the Union government has already deducted Rs 500 crore from the recently announced package of 1,667 crore to settle the bill of Defence Ministry.

Recently, the Modi government had announced release of Rs 1,667 crore for the flood-hit state.

Meanwhile, the Defence Ministry had submitted a bill of Rs 500 crore for relief and rescue operations undertaken by the Army and Air Force during last September’s flood in the state.

The Centre has now diverted Rs 500 crore from the State Disaster Response Fund to the Defence Ministry.

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Last September, the Army and Air Force carried out relief operations named Operation Megh Rahat after many parts of Valley got flooded.

During the operation, the IAF air dropped food and relief items. Large number of stranded tourists were also airlifted from Srinagar free of cost.

Speaking to The Indian Express , J&K Education Minister Naem Akthar said that he was not aware whether any money has been diverted from the State Disaster Response Fund to the Army.

Minister of State for Power in the J&K government, Mohammad Ashraf Mir, however, termed it as an “unfortunate development”.

“They have been claiming that Army is helping people in the flood. It is very unfortunate that Army has now charged money for rescuing people who were in need of help,” Mir said.

“Will the Centre also charge bill to Nepal government for rescuing the civilians during earthquake?” he asked.