Dr. Jitendra Singh, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences, Minister of State in Prime Minister`s Office (PMO), Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Space and Atomic Energy said here today that there is no need to panic and reassured of necessary assistance to the relatives, kith and kin of the persons stranded in flood hit areas of Jammu and Kashmir. So far, over 76,500 people have been rescued by the Armed forces and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), the remaining are also in the process of being shifted out from the places where they are held up, he said. Hailing the role of Army, Air-Force and Para-military forces including BSF, Dr Jitendra Singh said that the Indian Air-Force and Army alone have so far pressed into service nearly 80 air-craft and helicopters. In addition, 329 columns of army personnel are already deployed in the State who are performing an exemplary task under the most inhospitable conditions which only goes on to prove the point that the Indian Army and Para-military forces are not only capable to fight the enemy on the borders but also equally capable to fight the ravages of natural calamity like the one being witnessed in Jammu & Kashmir, he observed.
Dr. Jitendra Singh said, he had taken up with Ministry of Home Affairs and National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), the issue of providing more relief material and he stated that the army alone had distributed 1,50,000 litres of water to the flood hit people while additional water bottles were being airlifted from Chandigarh and Delhi. Dr. Jitendra Singh said, he is in touch with the State administration and also maintaining a regular inpidual contact with Deputy Commissioners of the affected districts, but the major hassle is on account of break-down of communication and telephone links which, he said, are expected to be restored within next one or two days. Meanwhile, he added, the rescue teams are using satellite phones for communication.