As Flood Waters Recede, Life Inches To Normal In J-K

18 September 2014
The Hindustan Times
Toufiq Rashid

Srinagar: Life is limping back to normal in flood-hit Jammu & Kashmir with the help of central agencies while local authorities struggle to assess the damage two weeks after the state was devastated by its worst deluge in over 100 years. The Centre released data on Thursday underlining the security forces' role in the massive rescue and relief operations from airlifting people to restoring power and fuel supply. Security forces rescued 2.78 lakh people from inundated areas and airlifted over 80,000 more who were stranded on rooftops in the two-week-long rescue operations. The forces also helped restore telecommunication and road connectivity, and fuel and power supply in most affected areas as state officials struggled to cope with disease and floating animal carcasses. Police have recovered 34 bodies in the past three days, 13 of them from worst-affected localities like Rajbagh and Jawahar Nagar that are still submerged. The total death toll is now 200, with hundreds of people still reported missing. Confirming the toll, deputy Inspector general of police SA Mujtaba said the police had increased patrolling in areas where thefts have been reported. 'We have got reports of thefts in areas like Rajbagh and have taken measures,' he said. 'We have increased patrolling in the areas. We have also given instructions that officials should keep account of boats.' Boats were an important means of rescuing stranded people and supplying food and water to inundated areas. Many parts of state capital Srinagar continued to be waterlogged with over half of the 2,000 ATMs in the city still not functioning. According to Central data, security forces and other central agencies moved about 12.5 lakh litre of drinking water to various places. They also installed around 2,000 tents and provided 80,000 blankets to affected people. Health authorities are fearful of a disease outbreak in the state with vast areas of brown stagnant water appearing all over the state.