Jammu and Kashmir has suffered massive damage to its public infrastructure due to the worst floods it has faced in more than a century and officials say that the state would need at least Rs 5,000 crore to rebuild the same.
Even a conservative estimate of the damage to public infrastructure like bridges, roads, hospitals and other government buildings puts the figure at between Rs 5,000 crore to Rs 6,000 crore, Secretary to the state government’s Revenue, Relief and Rehabilitation Department, Vinod Kaul said.
Kaul said that in a presentation made to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh during his visit to the state last week, the estimated damage to public infrastructure was pegged at around Rs 1,000 crore. However, at that time, Srinagar city was still unaffected by the floods.
The damage is very widespread in the summer capital of J&K as most government facilities here have been hit by the floods, he said. While most parts of south Kashmir — spread over the four districts of Anantnag, Kulgam, Shopian and Pulwama — were hit by floods in the early days of September, over 60 per cent of Srinagar city was marooned by the rampaging Jhelum on September 7.
Five major hospitals in the city — SMHS Hospital at Kaka Sarai, Lalla Ded Hospital at Wazirbagh, SKIMS Hospital at Bemina, Bone and Joint Hospital at Barzulla and GB Pant Hospital at Sonawar — were hit by the floods as Jhelum river breached its embankments at several places.
While there has not been much damage yet to the buildings of these hospitals, equipment worth hundreds of crores of rupees has been damaged and might need complete replacement if the water level in the city does not recede quickly. At least 50 small and big bridges have been damaged by the floods while long stretches of several important roads have been washed away.
The above reports are of the period prior to Srinagar getting hit by the floods. “We are yet to analyse the damage caused in the last six or seven days,” Kaul said.
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