Even as the Jammu-Srinagar national highway remained disrupted due to landslides at some places since last week, the Army troops in a major boost to its ongoing relief operations in flood hit Valley restored the road link to it from Leh side on Tuesday.
Pointing out that reopening of the Jammu-Srinagar national highway will take three to four days more in view of massive landslides at two places near Ramsoo, senior police officials said the Batote-Doda national highway has been resotored upto Kishtwar. “With rescue operations across Jammu region being almost complete, the focus of state police and army troops is now on relief measures,” said DIG Udhampur-Reasi range, Garib Dass.
Pointing out that a total of 42,587 people have been rescued by the Indian Armed Forces during massive rescue and relief operations which were still in progress across the state, the Udhampur based defence ministry spokesman Colonel S.D. Goswami said here this evening that road connectivity to flood hit Kashmir Valley has been restored from Leh region due to concerted efforts of the Army engineers and the Border Roads Organization.
“The Army is now mobilizing the existing stocks in Leh to provide essential supplies to the beleaguered Kashmir valley,” he said, adding that the urgent requirement of food, water and medicines will be moved from the troops holdings in Ladakh. Additional stocks are also being inducted via Manali to provide relief to the people in the Valley, he added.
Of the 215 columns of Army engaged in relief and rescue operations, a total of 130 have been deployed only in the Valley. They have distributed 7,200 blanks, 210 tents, besides 42,000 litres of water, 600 kgs of biscuit, seven tons of baby food and 1,000 food packets in flood affected areas.
“Additional water bottles are being airlifted from Chandiharh and Delhi,” Goswami said, adding that 80 medical teams too have swung into action in an endeavor to provide speedy medical aid to the affected populace. This is apart from 110 army boats and 148 “inflatable” boats of the National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) which are actively involved in rescue operations.
While BSNL with the help of armed forces is also trying hard to restore mobile services through satellite and the telecom network, the IAF communication along with a team of private telecom company are being airlifted from Delhi, the spokesman said, adding that 15 engineering task force teams along with boats and other life saving equipment have already reached the flood affected areas to supplement the rescue operation.