Govt decides to release Rs 1 billion to flood victims; Lawmakers demand immediate relief package for disaster survivors

Koshi FloodKathmandu / Aug. 16: A meeting of the Prime Minister Disaster Relief Fund Committee has decided to release Rs 1 billion balance left in the fund to the flood and landslide victims hit hard across the nation.

The meeting chaired by the National Planning Commission Vice-Chariman Dr. Swarnim Wagle made the decision today, as stated in the statement issued by the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers.

Chairperson of the Committee Dr. Wagle said the balance of Rs 1 billion left in the Prime Minister Disaster Relief Fund would be transferred to the Central Disaster Rescue Fund under the Ministry of Home Affairs.

He further said Rs 500 million would be released immediately to CDRF to carry out rescue operations, distribute relief items and provide compensations to the flood and landslide victims.

However, additional Rs 500 million would be released as per the request of the Home Affairs, Chiranjeevi Paudle joint secretary at the OPMCM said in the statement.

The meeting also decided to terminate bank accounts with balance less than Rs 5 million opened under the Prime Minister Disaster Relief Fund in Banajiya Banks.

However, accounts with less than Rs 5 million would be transferred into other heads, as stated in the statement.

More than 26 districts in Terai region were badly affected by flash floods triggered by incessant rainfall for more than four days.

At least 111 people have lost their lives and more than 3 dozens people were reported missing in flood and landslide across the nation. Property worth millions of rupees were destroyed as most parts in the Terai was inundated by flash flood.

Many people and vehicles were stranded as bridges were swept away and boulders of landslide and landslips had halted vehicular movement along the East-West Highway, which is yet to resume its operation.

Lawmakers demand immediate relief package for disaster survivors
Meanwhile, Most lawmakers speaking in the special hour of the Legislature-Parliament meeting today drew the attention of the government towards the loss of lives and properties in the recent floods in different parts of the country and weaknesses in the disaster preparedness resulted in slow rescue and relief efforts.

They insisted on the need of establishing a committee to launch the relief programmes through a one-door channel and make it effective; demanded the government to make initiation at the diplomatic-level to start talks with India so as to end the problems of frequent inundations in the Tarai Madhes permanently.

The government was urged to promote and expedite the tree transplantation campaign to minimise the risk of natural disasters like flood and landslide.

They called for a political unity to cope with the adverse situation collectively and to ensure relief to the people, sought minimum Rs 500,000 of monetary compensation to the survivors.
A special relief package for farmers and free treatment of the injured was also sought.

Amresh Kumar Singh of Nepali Congress claimed the post-disaster situation turned into a nightmare as the government failed to take timely measures for its management and minimization of damages.

CPN (UML)’s Astalaxmi Shakya demanded an immediate relief package in the aftermath of the millions of people becoming homeless by disasters.

CPN (Maoist Centre)’s Shree Prasad Jagebu, Nepal Workers and Peasant Party’s Dilli Prasad Kafle, Rastriya Janata Party’s Narsingh Chaudhary, Meena Pun, Rukmani Chaudhary, Bishwendra Paswan, Usha Gurung , Rajan Bhattarai, Shakti Bahadur Basnet, Ram Ayodhi Prasad Yadav, Ranju Kumari Jha, Nisha Kumari Saha were among those taking part in the special session. RSS

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