Centre enhances relief to Kashmir ammo depot fire victims

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Srinagar, Oct 25 (UNI) The Centre today increased the ex-gratia amount to the victims of the devastating fire in the Army's biggest ammunition depot at Khundru in Anantnag district of south Kashmir from Rs 10 crore to Rs 26.75 crore, an official spokesman said.

The Jammu and Kashmir government would distribute the relief amount, he added.

At least 20 people were killed and hundreds wounded when the Army's largest ammunition depot at Khundru caught fire on August 11 this year. The blaze triggered a series of explosions in the area.

Hundreds of people were rendered homeless in Khundru and adjoining villages due to the devastating fire and the explosions.

Concerned over the loss of means of livelihood and property due to the fire, the Defence Ministry had released Rs 10 crore as an interim assistance to the Jammu and Kashmir government on August 28 to provide relief to the people, the spokesman said.

With today's sanction, the Defence Ministry has fully met the amount requested by the state government, he added.

The Defence Ministry expressed the hope that the Jammu and Kashmir government would take urgent measures in disbursing the relief amount to the affected people.

Meanwhile, Defence Minister A K Antony will review the security situation in Jammu and Kashmir during his day-long visit to the Valley on October 27.

He will hold meetings with senior Army and state government Officials.

Mr Antony will also inaugurate the silver jubilee celebrations of the Jawahar Institute of Mountaineering and Winter Sports (JIMWS) at the tourist resort of Pahalgam.

He will also attend the Executive Council and the General Body meetings of the Institute.

Set up in October 1983, JIMWS imparts theoretical and practical training in mountaineering and rock climbing techniques. It also encourages and imparts training in winter sports.

UNI

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