Thousands still marooned in Kashmir

Armed forces personnel drop therapeutic food packets in the flood affected areas of Srinagar
Armed forces personnel drop therapeutic food packets in the flood affected areas of Srinagar

Nearly 1.5 lakh people are still marooned in parts of the Kashmir Valley submerged by floods, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has said.

At an all-party meeting Saturday, he said another 1.42 lakh people had been rescued in the valley alone.

Many opposition leaders, including Peoples Democratic Party’s Mehbooba Mufti, Congress state president Saifuddin Soz and BJP leader Jugal Kishore, attended the meeting.

Abdullah said properties and infrastructure worth Rs.6,000 crore has been destroyed in the floods.

He said while 29 bodies had been recovered in the valley so far, the toll could go up as many more people were reported missing.

He urged opposition leaders to set aside differences in this hour of national disaster and work together to help the affected people.

Authorities Sunday said that 45 percent of the electricity supply to Srinagar city has been restored.

“The restoration work in areas still submerged will be taken up only after water is drained out from these areas,” an official said Sunday.

Officials said 10,000 solar lights and 30 large capacity power generators had been flown into Srinagar.

Inspector General of Police Rajesh Kumar told IANS Sunday that since the Jammu-Srinagar highway remained close for the 10th day Sunday, supplies to the valley will now be routed through Kishtwar district of Jammu region.

“Forty-five trucks carrying essential supplies to the valley have reached the Sinthan Pass and will today (Sunday) enter the Kashmir Valley,” he said.

Meanwhile, incidents of burglary in the submerged areas are causing serious concerns for thousands who left behind abandoned their homes after they are rescued by the army and the NDRF personnel.

It is still raining in many places in the valley since Sunday morning. Sonam Lotus, director of the Met Office,says that light rainfall was expected across Jammu and Kashmir till Monday.