Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced Rs. 570 crore for rebuilding homes in Kashmir, and Rs. 175 crore for six major hospitals worst affected by the floods on his Diwali day visit to the state.
“India shares the grief of Jammu and Kashmir. The government stands with the people in rehabilitation efforts,” he said, also announcing that books and notebooks would be provided to thousands of schoolchildren.
PM Modi was received at the Srinagar airport by Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, who briefed him about the challenges of rebuilding the state and asked for financial assistance. The state has asked for a Rs. 44,000-crore rehabilitation package.
As a special Diwali gesture, the PM is visiting Kashmir to meet flood-hit victims of the recent devastating floods in the state as well as soldiers at the Siachen glacier.
He is meeting traders, representatives of various politcal parties and party workers at Raj Bhawan. Earlier in the day, the PM addressed soldiers in the Siachen, saying that the armed forces did a commendable job is rescuing people during the floods in Jammu and Kashmir.
The PM also mentioned that the government is planning on building a war memorial soon in the area and added that all Indians stand shoulder-to-shoulder with them. The PM said that it is because of them guarding the borders of the nation, that 125 crore Indians are able to celebrate festivities carelessly.
He also handed over a cheque of Rs five lakh for the welfare of the soldiers. Modi also tweeted Diwali greetings to President Pranab Mukherjee from the glacier. He will also be meeting the victims of the recent floods in Jammu and Kashmir and review the relief and rehabilitation efforts in the state.
Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has welcomed Modi’s gesture and has demanded a special package flood relief package for the state.
The Hurriyat, however has called for a shutdown in the state ahead of that visit.