Rajnath Singh reviews flood situation in J&K
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Union Home Minister, Rajnath Singh and Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah this morning reviewed the prevailing flood situation in Jammu and Kashmir at a high level meeting in Srinagar and took stock of the rescue and relief measures put in place to provide necessary succor to the flood-hit population.
Immediately after arriving at technical airport Srinagar, the Union Home Minister drove to the meeting venue and was apprised of the situation that has arisen due to incessant rains resulting into devastating flood particularly in Kashmir Valley and some districts of Jammu Division. The Chief Minister gave overview of the situation and the measures taken by the State Administration to safeguard the lives and to evacuate people from the submerged areas.
The Union Home Minister assured all help from the Centre to the State to overcome the difficulties and help relief and rehabilitation of the affected population. He added that a comprehensive report on losses be sent to the Government of India as early as possible.
The Chief Minister said that presently the upper most concern of the State Government is to ensure safety of human lives and evacuate the population trapped in submerged areas. He said as soon as water recedes, the assessment of losses will be ascertained on war-footing. However, he added that huge paddy and fruit crop has been destroyed by the floods and unabated rains. He said besides standing paddy crop, vegetables, maize and other crops have also been damaged hugely. He said there is heavy damage to the public infrastructure and private property besides residential houses. He further said that Army, NDRF, State Police and Civil Administration are working in tandem to help rescue and evacuation of marooned population.
After the meeting, the Union Home Minister along with J&K Chief Minister drove to the inundated areas in upper Srinagar to get visual appraisal of the devastation of flood and the difficulties people are facing in this hour of crisis. During the tour, the two leaders visited Baghat, Barzulla, Rambagh, River Jhelum Bund, Zero Bridge, Budshah Bridge, Exhibition Chowk, Saria Bhalla and other areas of the summer capital.
Later the Union Home Minister, accompanied by Minister of State in PMO, Dr. Jitendra Singh, left for Jammu on a similar mission. Talking to media persons at Jammu technical airport, he announced immediate relief of Rs 2 lakh each to the kin of the deceased and Rs 50, 000 to the injured. He also assured that the Central Government is with the people of the state and all possible efforts will be made to save the human lives and compensate the losses. In Jammu, the HM conducted aerial survey of some areas in Akhnoor tehsil to take stock of the situation.
Presenting a brief account of the flood situation and the damages caused to infrastructure and private property besides loss of human lives, the Commissioner Secretary Revenue and Relief, J&K Government, Vinod Koul informed that as per the latest reports as many as 83 people have died in the devastating flood. He said that 390 villages have been submerged in the Valley while 1225 are partially affected. He said in Jammu Division 1000 villages have been affected by the flood waters.
Flood Relief Operations by Armed Forces in J & K
The State of Jammu & Kashmir has been experiencing heavy rainfall in last 3 to 4 days and almost all rivers of the State are in spate, flowing above the danger mark. Armed Forces are carrying out flood relief operations inspite of continuous heavy downpour and bad weather conditions prevailing, and rescuing and evacuating stranded civilians as well as service personnel stuck in the floods. Six NDRF teams have been airlifted by an IAF aircraft from Bathinda to Srinagar.
120 Army columns have been deployed across the State rescuing more than 9000 civilians so far. IAF aircraft have flown about 30 sorties to induct NDRF teams and have evacuated 212 people so far, who were stranded in Akhnoor, Gagariyal and Fort Bridge. A major rescue operation was conducted by IAF in Akhnoor rescuing 11 adults and 03 children by a MI-17 helicopter. 15 MI-17 Medium Lift Helicopters, seven Light helicopters and three AN-32 and one IL-76 Transport Aircraft have been placed on standby across the State.
The relief effort is being coordinated by HQ Army Northern Command in Udhampur in consultation with the Advance Air HQ. The situation is being monitored and reviewed regularly by the Chief of Integrated Defence Staff at HQ IDS and meeting was held for the same with all stakeholders.
Army Intensifies Mission Sahayata
In view of the worsening flood situation in Kashmir and inundation of hundreds of villages, Army has intensified ‘Mission Sahayata’ employing more than 110 Army columns and Engineer teams have rescued 13,000 precious lives trapped in flooded villages, isolated houses and buildings in the inundated areas all over Jammu & Kashmir region. As the number of shelter less people is rising, Army has also providing tented accommodation to 3,000 people.
Major flood rescue operations started on 02 September, however, with increasing involvement, Mission Sahayata was launched to cover areas in entire Valley. Army troops were working against all odds, endangering their own lives. On 06 September, a column of Army operating at Kakapora of Pulwama District itself came under floods. While moving on a boat to place of safety, the boat carrying 11 personnel capsized and they got stranded. Till issuing of this release two soldiers were still stranded in the area.
Army Formations continue to proactively reach out to flood affected people to render all possible assistance. Army helicopters are on standby and poor weather is restricting their full employment.