Srinagar/Jammu: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday reiterated that the Centre is committed to provide all that is required to bring the flood-hit Jammu and Kashmir back on track, while admitting that the state is facing a national calamity.
Addressing a press conference in the national capital, the Home Minister said, “Floods in J&K are a kind of national calamity. We have said time and again that the central government will do everything possible to help those affected in the state.”
Praising the Army, para-military forces and several government agencies for their commendable job, Singh said, “So far forces have rescued 1.30 lakh people in Kashmir. Rscue operations have been scaled up.”
“Around 400 villages have been submerged very heavily in floods in J&K,” he added.
On the isue of rehabilitation of Kashmiri migrants, he said, “Rs 500 crore have been earmarked for rehabilitation of Kashmiri Migrants. Centre is also considering to enhance cash relief to Kashmiri migrants to Rs 10000 per month per family. We have also asked the state government to provide us land for their rehabilitation.”
Home Minister also spoke on a wide range of issues from J&K floods to police modernisation to threats from al Qaeda etc.
The Army, IAF, NDRF and other government agencies have scaled up relief and rescue operations in the flood-hit Jammu and Kashmir amid growing fear of water-borne disease outbreak as water is said to be receding in most affected areas.
Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has admitted that the likely spread of diseases is the main source of worry for him after the water recedes.
Stagnant water, the paucity of clean drinking water and people living in close quarters in ill-equipped relief camps is a recipe for a disease disaster. “We are preparing ourselves for diarrhoea and measles which is common when people live in clusters,” Dr Salim Rehman, Director, Health Services of the State’s Health Department was quoted as saying.
Rehman added that he and his colleagues were not apprehensive of the possible outbreak of dengue and malaria as mosquitoes do not survive in the weather conditions of the Kashmir Valley.
Since the provision of clean drinking water is essential to prevent the spread of water-borne diseases, the health department has been asked to supply chlorinated water in tankers at all relief camps. The Central government on Wednesday also flew in supplies of chlorine tablets to make drinking water potable at relief camps as the supply of packaged water is unlikely to suffice.
The health department has set up medical centres at relief camps to treat patients symptomatically.
Meanwhile, the rescuers have scaled up relief efforts in flood-hit areas, especially summer capital Srinagar with the Centre rushing additional personnel, boats, drinking water, blankets and food rushed to the state.