Over a lakh people rescued in Jammu and Kashmir

Srinagar/New Delhi: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh Friday said a total of 130,000 people have been rescued so far from various parts of flood-affected Jammu and Kashmir.

A total of “130,000 people have been rescued from the state”, Singh said at a press conference in New Delhi.

In a separate statement in Srinagar, the defence ministry said 89 transport aircraft and helicopters of the Indian Air Force and Indian Army Aviation Corps have been pressed into service in the state.

The army has deployed around 30,000 soldiers for rescue and relief operations – 21,000 in Srinagar region and 9,000 in Jammu region.

So far, 2,98,000 litres of water, 31,500 food packets and over 533 tonnes cooked food have already been airdropped and distributed in the flood-affected areas, the statement said.

To provide speedy medical aid to the affected populace, 80 medical teams of the Armed Forces Medical Services are operating in full swing. Four field hospitals have also been established.

“Till now they have treated more than 21,500 patients and 19 tonnes medicines and other health care materials are also being transported from Delhi to the flood affected area,” it said.

More relief materials including blankets, water bottles and food packets are being airlifted from Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Delhi, Patna, Amritsar and Chandigarh.

So far, 1,379 sorties were undertaken by the helicopters and aircraft of the armed forces and 1,799 tonnes of relief materials were dropped.

Keeping in view of urgent requirement for rescue operation, the army has deployed 90 more boats in Srinagar and adjoining areas.

A total of 224 army boats and 148 inflatable boats of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) are actively involved in the rescue operation.

Besides, the armed forces have established 19 relief camps in Srinagar and Jammu regions.

“Communication equipment of department of telecommunication, army, BSNL and some of private companies have been dispatched to restore the communication systems in the state,” the ministry statement added.

To restore the road connectivity, five task forces of the Border Roads Organisation, which include 5,700 personnel, have been pressed into service.

In New Delhi, Rajnath Singh praised the army and the NDRF for carrying out effective rescue operations. “I applaud the Indian defence forces and the NDRF for their work in Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.

The union “home secretary is now staying in the state to review rescue and relief efforts”, he said.

Stating that the central government has taken “immediate and proactive” action, Singh said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced Rs.1,000 crore for flood relief and rehabilitation.

The floods have claimed over 200 lives.

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