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In wake of catastrophe,CM Vijay Bahuguna bans construction on river banks

Uttarakhand tragedy forces govt to finally take action to prevent any such eventuality recurring in state.

Written by Express News Service | Dehradun |
July 1, 2013 4:19:09 pm

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna today announced setting up of Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Authority to look into planning and development of the flood-hit areas of the state. Also Read: 65-yr-old survivor’s story offers hope

The statutory body,to be chaired by the chief minister,will also take into account safeguards required in view of challenges to be faced 100 years from now.

Bahuguna,who made the announcement here at a conference today,said the decision was taken by the state cabinet considering the massive damage caused by the calamity in different areas across the state.

“The authority will consist of experts from different fields,” he said. Also Read: Uttarakhand floods wash dust off reforms report on disaster management

Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh,who also addressed the conference,described it as a “progressive and significant step which will inspire confidence in people”.

The authority will ensure transparency in the utilisation of large funds to be received by the state government from the Centre and other sources in development of the affected areas.

Norms for relief revised

Apart from a package of Rs 1,000 crore announced by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for reconstruction and rebuilding efforts,Rs 2,500 to 3,000 crore more is expected from the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank for the purpose,Ramesh said. Related: Arm broken,10-yr-old treks 10 km to hospital

The Cabinet decided to enforce a blanket ban on construction of houses and commercial establishments along the banks of rivers.

It also decided to revise the norms for relief and rehabilitation in the wake of the colossal tragedy by widening the ambit of beneficiaries ranging from small kiosks to dhabas to big hotels,Bahuguna said.

In view of the present circumstances,it has been decided to give Rs 50,000 to one lakh to small kiosks and ‘dhabas’ damaged in the deluge and Rs two lakh to hotels completely demolished,the chief minister said.

In case of damages worth Rs 2 lakh to 10 lakh to commercial establishments,30 per cent of the damage will be compensated,while 20 per cent of the total losses will be reimbursed in case of damages worth Rs 10 to 20 lakh and 10 per cent for losses totalling over Rs 20 lakh,he said.

Hotels,guest houses and commercial establishments along the banks of the Alaknanda and Bhagirathi,the tributaries of the Ganga in Rudraprayag and Uttarkashi districts suffered extensive damage in the recent calamity.

Other important decisions taken by the Cabinet included exemption of affected locals from repaying loans taken from cooperative banks and nationalised banks for one year and supplying free of cost 15 kgs each of rice and flour,5 kgs of pulses,3 kgs of sugar,one litre each of refined and mustard oil,salt and spices and 10 litres of kerosene to each affected family inhabiting areas that are totally cut off for one month.

Students upto intermediate standard will be given a one time compensation of Rs 500 each while students of polytechnic and degree colleges will get an amount of Rs one thousand as one time compensation,Bahuguna announced. (With PTI input)

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