Govt steps up relief work to end J&K flood crisis

NEW DELHI (TIP): A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a meeting on Kashmir floods, the ministries on September 11 seemed to be in a hurry to ferry essential supplies and stepped up the relief and rescue operation in the flood ravaged state.

The Prime Minister’s Office staff has voluntarily contributed their one day’s salary to the PM National Relief Fund so that it could be utilised for helping the affected people. In a statement released to the media, the PMO said the staff, including officers, took the step as a gesture to express their solidarity with the flood-affected people.

Modi had convened a high-level meeting and directed officials to chip in and escalate relief operations, with the focus being to provide essential food and other items while the armed forces continued to evacuate marooned persons from the state. The PMO is monitoring the flood situation and relief operation on a continuos basis and is providing assistance to the Omar Abdullah government to meet the challenges thrown by the crisis. Following up on the PM’s direction, Drinking Water and Sanitation minister Nitin Gadkari held a meeting of his officials on Thursday and decided to airlift drinking water supplies on a war footing.

Two lakh litres of water bottles were airlifted for the people caught in one of the worst humanitarian crisis, said an official statement issued by the ministry. The ministry has also dispatched water purification plants of 4 lakh litres per day capacity to help augment the drinking water supply in the Kashmir valley as a part of the central relief measures.

The petroleum ministry, too, is rushing LPG cylinders and other fuels to the marooned Valley though it is finding hard given the fact that some of the oil installations are drowned in water and the road connectively has also been hit. “Some of the oil installations are under water. Road movement is hampered due to floods. But we are trying to reach fuel to the people of Kashmir through alternative routes,” Pradhan said at an Indian Oil Corp (IOC) function in the national capital.

The ministry has arranged 350 trucks packed with petrol, diesel, cooking gas and kerosene which are queued up on roads waiting for unhindered passage to Kashmir. Even the Railways have decided to ferry free relief material to Srinagar. The prompt action of PM had come in for a rare praise from the Congress as their senior leaders Digvijay Singh and Ghulam Nabi Azad had lauded Modi for his ‘quick response” in dealing with massive flood crisis in the state.

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