Nearly 10,000 personnel of Army engineers and Border Roads Organisation (BRO), equipped with an over 400 dozes, excavators and JCBs, besides 300 tippers and dumpers, have restored road links at an over 1,000 places damaged by landslides or flash floods, besides reconstruction of various bridges across Jammu and Kashmir during the last few days.
“The recent heavy rains from September 1-7 and the consequent floods had affected connectivity for about 1,000 kms of roads length in Kashmir and another 1,100 kms in Jammu region,’’ said an Udhampur based defence ministry spokesman Colonel S D Goswami.
Helpline numbers: New Delhi J&K House – 011- 24611210, 24611108; Srinagar- 0194-2452138; Jammu – 0191-2560401; Home Ministry – 011-23093054, 23092763; NDRF – 09711077372
Apart from this, the Jammu-Srinagar national highway, a major lifeline connecting Kashmir with Jammu region, too was cut off, he said, adding that the damage included washing away of roads and bridges, damage to formation work of the roads and multiple landslides at a number of locations.
“Working round the clock since calamity struck the state, these people have addressed an over 500 landslides and roads sinkages in Jammu region and an equal number in Kashmir Valley’’, Colonel Goswami said.
While the Jammu-Srinagar national highway has been thrown open from Jammu upto Ramsoo and from Ramsoo to Khanabal through Jawahar tunnel, he said that the Army engineers and BRO personnel were working round the clock to clear the road stretch falling in between of three major landslides.
While road links between Srinagar-Zojila and Srinagar-Baramula have already been restored, the road from Batote to Kishtwar and further to Anantnag via Simpthon Top has also been reopened for light motor vehicles. The Jammu-Poonch road too has been restored for vehicular traffic.
Pointing out that Army has intensified its Operation Megh Rahat, he said that 65,000 people have been rescued in the Valley during the last ten days. While 95 of its medical teams are working round the clock, the Army is also inducting a Field Hospital in Srinagar to further boost medical assistance to people in the Valley.
The Nursing Officers of the Army are also helping the efforts by cooking food and providing meals to civilians stranded at Srinagar Cantonment, while food packets of cooked food and drinking water are being packed and sent to Srinagar from Udhampur, he pointed out.
The aviation wing of the Army has employed about 30 helicopters which have carried out more than 450 sorties and rescued nearly 1,500 civilians, besides transporting a mixed load of 75,000 kgs of relief material to various locations in the Valley. Meanwhile to make up for the mammoth requirement of safe drinking water the Army along with Air Force has air lifted 20000 litres of water in bottles and containers from Jammu and transported to Srinagar.
The Army is also in the processing of inducting stores and fuel for the repair, maintenance and functioning of motor boats and helicopters employed in the rescue operations, he pointed out.