Windstorm declared a natural calamity: Omar

March 22nd, 2012 - 8:02 pm ICT by IANS  

Jammu, March 22 (IANS) The Jammu and Kashmir government has declared the windstorm that lashed the Valley and parts of Jammu earlier this week a natural calamity, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah told the state assembly Thursday.

“The necessary government order to this effect is being issued by the General Administration Department,” he said, adding that windstorm of 75 kmph and a cyclone 65 kmph constitutes a natural calamity.

Making statement on the March 19-20 windstorm, Abdullah said that a team of ministers has been deputed to visit the affected areas in Poonch, Anantnag, Kupwara, Bandipora, Srinagar and other areas for an on-the-spot review of the damage.

Abdullah said the windstorm claimed three lives and 39 people injured.

“It damaged residential houses, non-residential structures, public service infrastructure including power distribution system, school buildings, a mosque and a temple,” he said.

The chief minister said that the distribution of relief by the concerned deputy commissioners would start as soon as the order for declaring the windstorm a natural calamity is issued.

“Politics has no role to play in such incidents where humanity has suffered,” he noted.

He said that playing politics in the distribution of relief will not be allowed. “We are never in favour of it and will not allow it to happen,” he maintained.

In all 12,475 residential houses were damaged partially in Kashmir and Jammu provinces. Of this, partially damaged houses in Kashmir Valley account for 11,641 while it stood 834 in Jammu province.

The fully damaged houses in Kashmir were 95 in number while in Jammu province the number was 36. No death was reported in Jammu, however, 5 people were injured in the windstorm.

Out of the 98 school buildings damaged, 42 were in Kashmir while 56 were in Jammu province. Also 10 houseboats in Kashmir were partially damaged in the windstorm.

The tentative losses ascertained by the Power Development Department are to the tune of Rs.4.66 crores in Kashmir, while losses in Jammu province especially in Poonch are being assessed.

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