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Declare J&K floods national calamity: Omar

Omar also asked the Centre to announce an aid package and rush a team to assess the damage.

india Updated: Sep 06, 2006 14:13 IST

National Conference (NC) president Omar Abdullah on Wednesday urged the Centre to declare the floods in Jammu and Kashmir a 'national disaster', announce an aid package and immediately rush a team to the state to assess the damage.

Addressing a news conference in Srinagar, Abdullah said the Centre should declare the floods in the state a 'national calamity' the way it had done during the devastating earthquake of October 8 last year.

The physical infrastructure in many parts of the state has been badly damaged and hundreds of villages and its inhabitants severely affected, he added.

The NC Chief also said paddy and wheat crops in several districts, particularly in south Kashmir, have been damaged.

He urged the Centre to announce a comprehensive aid and relief package for Jammu and Kashmir to cope with the colossal loss of property in various parts of the state.

Abdullah also appealed to the Centre to immediately rush a high-level team to the state to assess the damage caused by floods.

He claimed that the Jammu and Kashmir government had failed on all fronts in providing relief to the affected people.

The NC Chief also urged that the relief distribution should not be politicised. "This is a human catastrophe. The relief should not be weighed in terms of political affiliations. There should be no politics in its distribution," he added.

Abdullah charged PDP Ministers with deliberately inundating several areas which had opposed the party in the previous elections and only providing relief to the places from where its candidates had won the polls.

He also called for revamping the Flood Control Department so that the calamity was dealt effectively in the future.

First Published: Sep 06, 2006 14:13 IST