Home Minister Rajnath Singh takes stock of flood situation in J&K areas
SRINAGAR: Home Minister Rajnath Singh Saturday met
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah here and took stock of the flood
situation but could not conduct an aerial survey of the affected areas due to
Omar himself drove the Home Minister and Minister of
State for Personnel Jitendra Singh around the waterlogged roads of Srinagar
city which has been witnessing incessant rains over the past five days along
with the rest of the state.
“The floods have caused a lot of damage. If this is
the condition of city, what will be the situation in rural areas. I was told
that this has happened after 50-60 years,” said Rajnath Singh who assured the
Chief Minister that the Centre stands firmly behind the state government at
this crucial hour.
He said that an inter-ministerial team will be sent to
assess the damage in the state and that J-K can use Rs 1,100 crore of State
Disaster Relief Fund to deal with the calamity. “The helicopter could not take
off because of bad weather. So I went with the Chief Minister around the city,”
Singh, who arrived this morning, said before heading for Jammu.
“No politics should be played at this hour. After the
water recedes, an inter-ministerial team will be sent to assess the damage. PM
has given Rs two lakh to the kin of every person killed in the floods. I have
told the state government to utilise Rs 1,100 crore of State Disaster Relief
Fund which has 90 per cent of grant from the Centre,” Singh told reporters
Singh also asked the state government to send a memorandum
on the damage incurred during the floods, once the situation eases.
Accompanied by Minister of State in PMO Jitendra
Singh, the Home Minister arrived this morning and went straight into a meeting
with the Chief Minister in the technical area of the airport where both
discussed steps to meet the situation arising out of the worst floods in the
state in six decade that have claimed 100 lives so far.
“Wherever you need central assistance, we will be
providing you. Funds will not be a constrain in the relief and rehabilitation
of the affected people,” Rajnath Singh said at a review meeting to assess the
flood situation in the state.
The meeting was attended by Omar and several of his
cabinet colleagues and senior officials from the state government. The Home
Minister asked Omar to take steps on war-footing for providing relief to the
Omar told the Home Ministry that the top most concern
of the state government is to ensure safety of human lives and evacuate the
population trapped in submerged areas. He said the as soon as the water
recedes, state government will carry out the assessment of losses.
Omar added that huge losses have been caused to paddy
and fruit crops. The Chief Minister also said that there is heavy damage to
public infrastructure and private property besides residential houses.
The Chief Minister briefed Singh on rescue efforts saying
Army, NDRF, state police and civil administration are working in tandem to help
the marooned population. Commissioner Secretary Revenue and Relief Vinod Koul
said there was an urgent need for 25,000 tents and 40,000 blankets.
He said 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. The Commissioner said 50 bridges and
hundreds of kilometers of roads besides power installations and PHE schemes
have been damaged due to flood and rains.