New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday asked the Narendra Modi-led NDA government at the Centre to explain by Monday what relief and rescue measures it has taken to rehabilitate those affected by the floods in Jammu and Kashmir.
The apex court also directed the Central Government to consider suggestion of forming a unified agency for coordinating the rescue operations in Jammu and Kashmir.
Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, who appeared for the Central Government, told the apex court that a committee headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is overseeing and coordinating the rescue efforts. He added that the armed forces’ operations are in full swing in Jammu and Kashmir.
The apex court also asked the Centre and the state government to put in urgent efforts for making functional constitutional offices like the Jammu and Kashmir High Court.
The Supreme Court gave the Centre time till Monday to file its reply.
The development came shortly after Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh reiterated that the Centre is committed to provide all that is required to bring the flood-hit Jammu and Kashmir back on track, while admitting that the state is facing a national calamity.
“Floods in Jammu and Kashmir are a kind of national calamity. We have said time and again that the Central Government will do everything possible to help those affected in the state,” he told a press conference.
Lauding the Indian Army, para-military forces and several government agencies for their commendable job, Singh said, “So far, the forces have rescued 1.30 lakh people in Kashmir. The rescue operations have been scaled up.”
“Around 400 villages have been submerged very heavily in floods in Jammu and Kashmir,” he added.
Commenting on the issue of rehabilitation of Kashmiri migrants, he said, “Rs 500 crore have been earmarked for the rehabilitation of Kashmiri migrants. The Centre is also considering to enhance cash relief to Kashmiri migrants to Rs 10,000 per month per family. We have also asked the state government to provide us land for their rehabilitation.”
The Indian Army, IAF, NDRF and other government agencies have scaled up relief and rescue operations in Jammu and Kashmir amid growing fear of water-borne disease outbreak as water is said to be receding in most affected areas.
Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has admitted that the likely spread of diseases is the main source of worry for him after the water recedes.
Stagnant water, the paucity of clean drinking water and people living in close quarters in ill-equipped relief camps is a recipe for a disease disaster.
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is regularly monitoring the situation arising out of the floods in Jammu and Kashmir.
Two Public Health Teams have been positioned on September 8, one each in Jammu and Srinagar for rapid health assessment and to prevent/control public health exigencies.
A 10-member clinical team comprising physicians, pediatricians and gynaecologists have been positioned in Srinagar since September 10 to provide medical relief to the affected population.
On the request of the state government, another 20 member clinical team comprising physicians, pediatricians and reproductive health specialists have been deployed in Srinagar yesterday.
Over 1, 25,000 persons have been rescued so far by the armed forces and NDRF from different parts of Jammu and Kashmir in the ongoing rescue and relief operations.