Stranded People Short of Food And Water, Rescue Opetations Continue
J&K battling its worst floods in 60 years
NEW DELHI: Although the floodwaters have begun to recede and the rescue operations are in full swing, there are still many concerns that need to be looked into.
96,000 people have been rescued so far by the Army and the IAF in flood-ravaged Jammy & Kashmir. However, over four lakh people are still trapped.
Moreover, lakhs of people who are stranded on the rooftops, houses, roads or in the middle of the deluge are in urgent need of drinking water and food.
Over 4000 people, who have been rescued from Shiv Pora, Indra Nagar, Batwara and Jawahir Nagar areas and put up at Zeisht Devi area, have been facing starvation.
Over 70 medical students are still trapped in a hostel in Batmaloo area and have sought help of Indian Air Force.
Nearly 60 people trapped at Hari Prabat hill in the city are also making frantic calls for food and water.
Although, 2,10,000 litres of water, 2.6 tonne of biscuit, seven tonne baby food and 31,000 food packets have already been air dropped and distributed in flood-affected areas; many SOS messages from those marooned have been asking for these basic necessities.
The Army, along with other forces are continuing with the rescue operations on a massive scale. More teams have been flown into the Valley to help the ongoing operations in Srinagar.
Another unit of the elite Marine Commandos has been sent to Srinagar by the Navy where they will be using their high-tech boats to reach out to people stranded in the houses. This is for the first time that Naval commandos have been deployed in the relief operations.
710 sorties have been undertaken by choppers and aircraft out of which 97 sorties were carried out on Wednesday. 807 tonnes of relief materials were dropped by Indian Air Force.
IMI-26, world’s biggest chopper has also been deployed by the Indian Air Force for rescue operations.
Alongside, transport aircraft and helicopters of IAF and Army Aviation Corps are carrying out non-stop rescue and relief operations as well.
Also, the Indian Oil Corp (IOC) has airlifted aviation fuel (ATF) to Srinagar to aid air sorties to the marooned valley.
The Railways have also tried to contribute in whatever little way they can.
Delhi Division of Northern Railway makes special arrangements for people coming from flood-affected areas. Also, Railway spokesperson informed that help desks have also been opened in Jammu, Udhampur and Katra.
Communication lines still remain disrupted and this has been creating a huge problem, not only in terms of reaching the affected people but also is an obstacle in coordination within the agencies.
Hectic efforts are underway to gradually restore snapped telecom links which has hampered even the rescue work.
Army has provided 9 satellite phones to state administration and is shifting mobile network of BSNL from Kargil to Badami Bagh contonment in Srinagar to establish communication network in nearby areas.
To help civilians telephone their relatives, Army is also supplying 38 generators with mobile phone charging sets.
Power is another area of huge concern. No electricity is making situation worse. Even the Army Hospital in Srinagar is running out of power. 20 critically ill ICU patients were evacuated from Srinagar.
Those affected by the torrential waters have been complaining continuously about the lack of help and support from the state government, though, they all have praises for the Army and the Air Force.
In the meanwhile, a Flood control room has been set up at Andhra Bhawan in Delhi and the Chhattisgarh and the Andhra governments have announced some financial aid to the flood-hit J&K.