Addressing a joint press conference here, Deputy Chief Minister Tara Chand and Finance Minister, Abdul Rahim Rather, said that Government has taken necessary steps for providing all possible assistance to the flood affected people besides putting in place the mechanism for monitoring the situation to ensure safety of human lives and property.Chief Secretary Mohammad Iqbal Khanday, Commissioner Secretary Revenue, Vinod Koul, Commissioner Secretary PHE, I&FC, Dr Pawan Kotwal were also present during the press conference.Spelling out the measures taken by the Government, they said control rooms have been established in every district so that the situation can be monitored on regular basis and the necessary action initiated. They said the cabinet, which met here today, discussed in detail the situation which has arisen due to incessant rains leading to the floods and sanctioned Rs 20 crore (10 crore each for Kashmir and Jammu) and placed at the disposal of the pisional Commissioners of both the pisions for meeting the expenditure on account of establishing of community kitchen, rescue operations, providing of shelter and restoring of road connectivity. “This would be followed by rehabilitation by providing relief against damaged property for which assessment will be carried by field agencies after the weather improves”, they maintained.
The Ministers said the priority of the Government is to ensure safety of the human lives besides providing them shelter and other necessary facilities. They said that the Government has already requested for SDRF battalions with the Centre and they have been dispatched and are expected to reach here soon, besides the army and other security agencies are actively helping the Government in rescue, relief and rehabilitation measures.They further said that the coordination groups have been formed and the officers have been interconnected through different media so that the rescue and relief operations are carried out in planned manner.It was given out that 20 persons have died due to floods in Kashmir and Jammu regions and 50 houses have been damaged across the State, while no casually has been reported from Leh and Kargil districts so far. The conference was told that 500 water supply schemes have been damaged due to floods. It was told that one bus carrying 50 passengers got washed away at Nowshera in Rajouri district where exact number of causalities is being ascertained. (KNS)