Minister for Health & Medical Education, Taj-Mohi-ud-Din today contested portions of an interaction with a news agency whereby certain attributions were made to him blaming the Minister for PHE, Irrigation & Flood Control, Sham Lal Sharma for the floods that swept the Srinagar city and adjoining areas on September 7.Taj said in such situations of crisis and disaster it is the field staff of a Department which is supposed to brief the Minister about any contingency plans and emergency measures. He said he had not said that the concerned Minister was responsible for or erred during the floods of last month.
He said he has always maintained that a Minister acts as a guide to the Department and has teams of technical staff and experts to deal with any emergency situation. All my feeling has been that the Minister concerned has not been fed properly by the technical staff including engineers on a very specific subject like Flood Control.The Minister maintained that in the said interaction he had said that the Standard Operating procedures were not followed by the Flood Control Department at the ground level, which could have minimized the damages to a large extent. He said he never talked about the deployment of NDRF in the flood hit areas as has been attributed to him.The Minister said he equally does not uphold the version of Army authorities regarding the breach at Kandizal. The Kandizal had breached ahead of the September 7 floods and there was no question of breaching it on that day, he said.