1.25 lakh rescued, focus on relief with caution | india | Hindustan Times
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1.25 lakh rescued, focus on relief with caution

Flooded homes, floating cars, thousands living in tents and on the pavement of the overbridge. Locals, migrant workers and students seeking a lift to the airport from passing cars, SUVs and tempos. Bemina in the outskirts of Srinagar is still to come to terms with the floods that have reduced it to a slum.

india Updated: Sep 13, 2014 08:08 IST
Sukhdeep Kaur

Flooded homes, floating cars, thousands living in tents and on the pavement of the overbridge. Locals, migrant workers and students seeking a lift to the airport from passing cars, SUVs and tempos. Bemina in the outskirts of Srinagar is still to come to terms with the floods that have reduced it to a slum.

The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) personnel rowing boats in its muddy waters have not to just worry about rescuing people but also themselves. In three days, their men have been attacked at zero bridge in Srinagar, pelted with stones at Jahangir bridge and 40 of its boats have been damaged by unruly men.

The CRPF, which too has faced hostile groups, is now carrying out relief operations in civilian clothes, while the air force has guided pilots of its copters to avoid winching operations as they risk being targeted by stones. At least four mediapersons and photographers from TV channels have been attacked in the last three days, while a few others have been chased or abused.

With over 1.25 lakh people having been rescued to safety since its worst-ever floods ravaged the state, the armed forces and NDRF are now focusing on relief operations but with due caution.

NDRF director general OP Singh said they have to provide relief to affected people under all circumstances but the attacks on his men and damage to boats is hindering relief operations.

While the NDRF is carrying food and other supplies to the affected areas, the army has set up nearly 1,000 tents and four field hospitals.

The Centre on Friday also flew in two water purification plants and six filtration units to provide potable water. Since there is no way out for the standing water, suction tanks have been flown in from Vishakapatnam. The National Disaster Management Authority has yet to figure out how to use them.