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J&K Flood: PM asks all citizens to donate, SC asks Centre to create unified agency

J&K Flood: PM asks all citizens to donate, SC asks Centre to create unified agency

India Blooms News Service | 13 Sep 2014, 12:47 am
New Delhi/Srinagar, Sept 12 (IBNS): The Supreme Court on Friday told the Centre to form a unified agency for ease and better co-ordination in carrying rescue and relief operations in the flood-ravaged Jammu & Kashmir as Prime Minister Narendra Modi reached out to every citizen to come forward and donate generously in the aid of flood victims.
The Supreme Court asks the Centre and the state to put in urgent efforts for making functional constitutional offices like the J-K High Court. 
Further adding the Supreme Court said that ‘We have no doubt that Centre will take necessary steps forthwith’. 
However the Attorney General informed apex court that the committee headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is overseeing and coordinating the rescue efforts and the rescue, relief operations by the armed forces are in full swing. 
The Supreme Court also asked the Centre to consider suggestion of forming unified agency for coordinating rescue operations.
The directions of top court come in the wake of J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah’s comment that now he has “no Government” to run. 
Omar told media persons that the capital city, Srinagar, was taken out and he had no Government for the first 36 hours. 
He said, “I resumed operations thereafter with six officers in a room”. 
Recalling the devastation, Omar said, “The establishment was wiped out. The assembly building, the high court, the police headquarters and hospitals are all under water.” 
As a CM, he was unable to contact most of his ministers in the first three days and still does not know the whereabouts of one or two ministers. 
Nor has he been able to contact the vast majority of legislators, media reported Omar as saying.
The relief and rescue operations in the flood ravaged state past eleven days as reports keep coming in that thousands of people are still stranded in different parts of the state. 
The Armed forces have stepped up the rescue operations after scaling them back temporarily when the relief personnel were stone-pelted in certain parts by locals.
Media reported that Armed forces were attacked with stones when they went to rescue people. 
Reacting to this, Army Commander Lt. General Subrata Saha told NDTV that he suspects crowds were being “provoked”. 
“Stone pelting hindering rescue ops. We feel crowds are being provoked,” Saha is quoted as saying to NDTV. 
But he told his men to remain calm in this situation. 
Saha also clarified that, many people don't want to be evacuated. 
Omar Abdullah alleged “separatists and foreign hands” behind this incident. 
Saha assured, “Our vigil at border is as high as ever.”
According to statistics released by Ministry of Defence, Over 1,30,000 persons have been rescued so far by the Armed Forces and NDRF from different parts of Jammu & Kashmir in the ongoing rescue and relief operations, dubbed as ‘Operation Megh Rahat’ in the flood ravaged State. 
89 transport aircrafts (both fixed and rotary) of Indian Air Force and Army Aviation Corps have been pressed into service. 
They have already undertaken 1379 sorties. Army has deployed around 30,000 troops for rescue and relief operations, in which 21,000 troops are deployed in Srinagar region and 9,000 troops in Jammu region. Armed Forces personnel are distributing water bottles and food packets on a large scale. So far 2,98,000 litres of water, 31,500 food packets and over 533 tonnes of pre-cooked food have already been air-dropped and distributed in the flood-affected areas.
8,200 blankets and 1000 tents, other utensils and clothing items were provided to the flood victims. 
96 medical teams of the Armed Forces Medical Services are already operating in full swing. 
Four Field Hospitals have been established in Avantipur, Pattan, Anantnag and Old Airfield where medical aid is being provided to the ailing people. 
Till now they have treated more than 35000 patients. 
One more fully equipped field hospital from Bathinda is on its way to Srinagar. 
The Army is also in the process to inducting a Field Hospital in Srinagar, which will further boost the medical assistance to the flood affected people. 
19 tonnes medicines, IV fluids and other health care materials are also being transported from Delhi to the flood affected area. 
More relief materials including blankets, water bottles and food packets are being airlifted from Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Delhi, Patna, Amritsar and Chandigarh.
1799 tonnes of relief materials were dropped by the Indian Air Force. 
A third batch of Naval Marine Commandos with Rubberised Inflatable Craft (Geminis), 160 Out Board Motors (OBMs), Compressors, Diving sets and satellite phones arrived at Srinagar, yesterday to support the rescue operations. 
Keeping in view of urgent requirement of more boats in the rescue operation, Army has deployed 90 more boats in Srinagar and adjoining areas. 
A total of 224 boats of Army and 148 NDRF’s inflatable boats are actively involved in the rescue operation. 
Armed Forces have also established 19 relief camps in Srinagar and Jammu region. 
In Srinagar region, camps were established at BB Cantt, Avantipur, Old Airfield, Sumbal, Chattargam and Jijamata Mandir, where thousands of rescued people are being sheltered. 
They are also being provided with food and other basic amenities. 
Specialized Army Engineer and Communication detachments and equipment are being air lifted from Jammu, Udhampur and other locations of the country to facilitate restoration of water supply, telecommunication and bridge construction in the valley.
Thirteen tonnes of water purifying tablets and six water filtration plants with a capacity to filter 1.2 lakh bottles per day has already reached Srinagar. 
Two water purification plants and 7 lakhs chlorine tablets are being sent today from Delhi. 
Engineering stores including suction pumps from Vishakhapatnam are also being sent to flood affected area. Communication equipment of Department of Telecommunication, Army, BSNL and some of private companies have been dispatched to restore the communication systems in the State. 
To meet the immediate energy requirement, 22,000 litres of fuel from Ambala have been transported to the valley. 
To restore the road connectivity, five task forces of Border Roads Organisation, which include 5700 personnel, have been pressed into service. 
As of now, they have restored the road connectivity from Batote – Kishtwar, Kishtwar - Sinthan Pass and Sinthan Pass - Anantnag. Jammu - Poonch road has been cleared for traffic. 
On the 300-km long Jammu – Srinagar highway, BRO personnel have cleared the road up to KM 172 (Ramsu). 
Air India and other carriers flew over 500 passengers, including about 200 engineering students, here from Srinagar and Leh and carried tonnes of relief materials to the state.
The rescue operations are further hindered with fresh rain causing landslides which have blocked the roads. 
Receding water in many areas is now beginning to reveal the real extent of the devastation. 
"Srinagar has drowned completely, it's unrecognizable. Almost everything is in ruins, it is just unimaginable," media quoted a State Disaster Response Force official as saying. 
Hundreds of passenger and commercial vehicles were stranded on the Highway at various place in Banihal, Ramban, Batote, Kud, Patnitop, Chenani, Udhampur and Jammu due to closure of the road, police officials said. 
The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) has intensified operations to clear the Highway as soon as possible, they said, adding BRO pressed in service its men and machines and launched a massive clearance and repair operation to reopen the Highway for traffic.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday urged every citizen of India to come forward in this hour of need and help generously to the aid of J&K flood victims that has taken more than 250 lives. 
In his twitter account, PM said, “I appeal to you to donate generously to PM National Relief Fund & help the people of J&K in this hour of need.” 
“Destruction caused by floods has pained all of us. Need of the hour is to help our sisters & brothers in J&K,” he wrote in the micro-blogging website. 
Omar Abdullah announced Rs. 3.5 lakh as ex-gratia for family members of the deceased. 

J&K Flood: PM asks all citizens to donate, SC asks Centre to create unified agency

India Blooms News Service
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