Omar draws parallel between Kadarnath, JK rain furies
Drawing parallel between last year's Kedarnath tragedy and the Jammu and Kashmir's flood, chief minister Omar Abdullah on Saturday hoped that his government will be able to keep the death toll less by better and speedy rescue operation.india Updated: Sep 08, 2014 13:28 IST
Drawing parallel between last year's Kedarnath tragedy and the Jammu and Kashmir's flood, chief minister Omar Abdullah on Saturday hoped that his government will be able to keep the death toll less by better and speedy rescue operation.
Omar said that the Centre has granted permission to use Rs 1,000 National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF).
"By giving such a name of Kedarnath tragedy-2 your tickers run fast, but the situation is like that. There was loss due to rains and here was also loss due to rains.
"That state has faced such a situation and this state is facing such a situation. However, there were more deaths there than here," Omar told reporters in Jammu on Saturday.
He was replying to a question whether JK's rains triggering flash-floods can be termed as Kedarnath-2.
Omar further said "but we hope that we will be able to keep death toll less by better and speedy rescue operation.
"Army has played good role and are rescuing people by posing their lives to danger, we want the last man rescued."
He said, "our priority is to undertake rescue operations and save lives of people."
Second point is to undertake relief and rehabilitation operation to rebuild all infrastructure -- roads, water supplies, power supply bridges etc.
Referring to the Centre's support, he said that JK has Rs 1000 crore available under State Disaster Relief Fund (SDRF).
"The Centre has given us authorisation to use that money and Union home minister has also assured us that there will be no dearth of money for relief and rehabilitation work", Omar said.
"When rain will stop and floods would recede, we will prepare our memorandum and submit to the Centre.
"They have re-assured that Centre will dispatch a inter-ministerial team and officials teams for assessment in Kashmir and Jammu provinces and they will make their assessment and will finalise the relief package for J&K," he said.
The chief minister said the state is facing shortage of boats to rescue people marooned in over 300 villages which have been cut off completely.
"We have arranged every possible boat, about 250-300 boats available in Srinagar and surrounding areas have been pressed into service.
"But one must understand the magnitude of the situation as about 300 villages are completely cut off," he said.
The chief minister said although every possible effort is being made to rescue people, bad weather and limited resources are major hindrance faced by the state administration.
"At some places, people did not cooperate. They did not pay heed to advice of state officers to relocate them.
"Now it has become difficult to rescue them because of bad weather and floods," he said.
The chief minister said the state needs medicines, blankets, tents and clean water and once water recedes efforts have to be made to prevent outbreak of any epidemic.
Omar said he was not concerned whether the Centre declares it a national calamity or not "as long as they fulfil promises made to us".
Thanking the forces for their efforts, Omar said army, air force, NDRF and SDRF, state administrative officials have all pitched in the rescue measures.
Omar said he has been assured of full support by the Centre.
"The Union home minister has told me to prepare a memo about relief and submit it to the Centre," he said adding that they would send an inter-ministerial team, which would assess the situation.
Several rivers have been flowing above the danger mark and most parts of south Kashmir, including Pulwama, Anantnag and Kulgam districts have been submerged.
In Jammu city, a part of a bridge was washed away and four bridges were closed for traffic as a precautionary measure in view of the Tawi river flowing much above danger mark.