Declare J-K floods as national calamity, Mehbooba tells Rajnath

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Srinagar
  • Updated: Sep 06, 2014 09:59 IST

People's Democratic Party president Mehbooba Mufti on Friday urged the Centre to declare floods in J&K as national calamity.

She on Friday called up union home minister Rajnath Singh over phone and according to a party spokesman, expressed her disappointment at the inadequate response to the disaster.

"Even though the fury of weather still continues to unfold, there is already a disaster of unprecedented dimensions taking shape. The floods in J&K should be declared as national calamity," Mehbooba reportedly told the union minister.

She alleged that a disaster management exercise was still nowhere in sight. "More than 70 people had so far lost their lives in the Jammu and Kashmir regions and there was a massive damage to infrastructure like roads, bridges, embankments, power and water supply lines," she said.

Mufti, also MP from south Kashmir's Anantnag constituency, stressed that a long term relief and rehabilitation package will have to be worked out keeping in view the extent of damage.

"The disaster was beyond the resources and capacities of the state and the Centre needs to come in a big way to the rescue of the people," she added.

Kashmir is reeling under severe floods for second consecutive day. Around 70 people have lost lives and many structures and houses across the state have been severely damaged, while many areas remain inundated.

"Many places cannot be reached except by air to save the marooned and inundated population or take relief material to them as the road communication has been badly hit," She said.

The PDP president accused the state government of been unable to establish a full-fledged disaster management agency in the state.

"It's appalling that the government could not mobilise men and material in time. Even the traditional flood control measures like sand bags are unavailable and the elementary rescue apparatuses, including boats, are in short supply. There is a huge deficit of boats and even their deployment is not done properly," she alleged.

Referring to the cancellation of union home minister's scheduled visit to the state, Mehbooba said, "It would have been appropriate for him to visit the state to have a feel of the situation personally and realise the extent of damage and misery facing the people."

Floods in Jammu and Kashmir claim over 70 lives

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