Flood waters receded further in Kashmir Valley on Thursday enabling rescue teams to evacuate another 2000 stranded people and provide crucial supplies for people desperately waiting for help in submerged areas.
Military teams continued rescue efforts overnight, evacuating 807 people from Srinagar alone.
Over 96,000 people have so far been evacuated to safety from flood-ravaged parts of Jammu and Kashmir by the Armed forces as the rescue and relief operation enters its 10th day on Thursday.
“Over 96,000 persons have been rescued so far by the Armed forces and NDRF from different parts of Jammu and Kashmir in the ongoing rescue and relief operations in the state till today,” Col S D Goswami, PRO, Army’s Northern Command informed.
He said that ‘Mission Sahayata’ in Kashmir and ‘Mission Rahat’ in Jammu region have entered their 10th day as 84 transport aircrafts and helicopters of Air Force and Army Aviation Corps and 35,000 troops have been pressed into service.
Of the 30,000 troops involved in massive rescue and relief operation, 21,000 are tasked in Kashmir valley and 9,000 in Jammu region, he added.
So far, 930 sorties have been undertaken by the choppers and aircraft of the services out of which 97 were carried out on Thursday. 1,237 tonnes of relief materials were dropped by the Air Force.
As many as 224 boats of Army and 148 boats of NDRF have been pressed into service, he said.
Food and other relief material was also provided for those stranded, officials said, adding that a total of 807 tonne relief material has been despatched so far.
“The situation has improved quite significantly in all areas of west Srinagar. In Srinagar, the water level has gone down from its peak level by about six feet but there is still substantive flooding in certain areas within the town itself,” Lt Gen D S Hooda said.
“In south Kashmir, the water has receded upto Awantipora. So roads are a little better in that area. So there is no crisis. We are still looking at rescue efforts which are going on in Srinagar town and that continues unabated,” he said.
With many people reluctant to leave their homes, the Army will be concentrating on providing them food and water.
“What we are seeing now is that water level is going down in certain areas but people are reluctant to leave their houses and therefore from today and tomorrow what we are going to focus is apart from rescue operations from some areas, we are also going to be sending food, water etc. and some medical supplies to people who want to stay at home,” the senior Army officer said.
Lt Gen Subrata Saha also stated that some people were reluctant to leave their homes.
“Over a period of time we are noticing a cycle. In that people are getting evacuated in the morning and some are getting back to their homes in the afternoon and this is pretty understandable because they want to go back and look after their stuff. They want to get food and supplies and get back to their houses,”
He said there was a bit of inundation in North Kashmir, also and 1171 have been evacuated.
“In south Kashmir, I am happy to tell you that the evacuation process is virtually zero,” he said.
Hectic efforts were also underway to gradually restore the snapped telecom links which had hampered rescue work.
Transport aircraft and helicopters of IAF and Army Aviation Corps were carrying out non-stop rescue and relief operations while Army has deployed one lakh troops.
National Disaster Response Force(NDRF) teams also scaled up their rescue efforts.
The floods, which were stated to be the worst in 109 years after rains pummelled the state on September 2, have left nearly 200 dead.