September 2006 News

Flood situation eases in Jammu and Kashmir

6 September 2006
The Hindu
Shujaat Bukhari

Srinagar: The flash floods in Kashmir have caused massive damage to property and the bumper crop estimated at Rs. 200 crore and officials reckon it is a huge task to rehabilitate lakhs of people who have lost their homes. But the threat of flood has now receded. Visible improvement Chief Secretary C. Phonsog told The Hindu that there was visible improvement in the situation. But the level of water in Jhelum in Srinagar was still up. The Srinagar-Jammu highway was also opened for traffic on Wednesday though only stranded vehicles were allowed to move. He said that massive damage had been caused to property and crop, particularly in South Kashmir. Around 444 villages were under water in Kashmir and 155 in Jammu. He said over 93,000 hectares of land with standing crop were also under water. 263 rescued According Mr. Phonsog, 307 houses were completely damaged and 4,399 were partially damaged in Kashmir and 95 partially damaged in Jammu. He said 258 boats were pressed into service and 125 medical teams deployed in the affected areas. The administration, he said, rescued 263 people caught in the floods and evacuated 8,615. 'But these are preliminary figures and the process of collecting information is on.' The Chief Secretary said that the Union Government had been asked to send a high-level team to assess the extensive damage in the State. Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad also visited Jammu and conducted an aerial survey of flood-hit areas with his Cabinet colleagues. JKLF provides relief Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front became the first separatist organisation to chip in with relief for the flood-hit victims. A delegation led by JKLF chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik visited the affected areas in Srinagar, Pulwama, Shopian, Kulgam and Anantnag to distribute relief material. The group, he said, visited eight places in Srinagar and six in Kulgam in the last two days, and on Wednesday the delegation led by him was distributing relief material in Anantnag town. 'In the last three days, we have distributed 300 quintals of rice, 1000 blankets, 25 quintals of pulses, large quantity of medicine, and plenty of warm clothes such as sweaters and jackets,' said Mr. Malik from Anantnag on telephone. He said the affected areas they visited so far were badly hit by the flood and required immediate help and attention. The areas, he said, include Achatal, Puranhaal, Gudar, Aree Gasnoo and Laisoo.


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