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Omar Abdullah takes stock of flood-relief work at high-level meeting

Jammu: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Monday held a high-level meeting of officers of the civil and police administration to review the rescue, relief and rehabilitation efforts in Kashmir region in the wake of the devastating floods in the state.

It was stated during the meeting that the situation is under control with the water level decreasing in the flood-hit areas and that the people have begun returning to their homes, an official spokesman said. But there is a need for increased supplies of relief material along with more pumps for draining out the water, the spokesman added.

Chief Minister Omar Abdullah
J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah

Omar is said to have stressed on the need for adequate supplies of ration and medicines and also called for urgent steps to pump out the flood waters. Heavy-duty pumps have been installed and more would be pressed into service to remove the water, he said.

Emphasis was put on the need for quickly disposing of carcasses, as the Srinagar Municipal Corporation has been
directed to do, and the meeting also discussed the need for cleaning up operations in the city to be intensified. It was also decided to divide Srinagar into three zones for cleaning and sanitation operations and three officers have been designated to monitor each zone.

The chief minister also called for the relief efforts to be augmented with the hiring of more vehicles. The Secretary, Health, told the meeting that medicine consignments have been received and are being distributed among the hospitals and medical camps. Nine lakh chlorine tablets have already been distributed and 10 lakh more are being received for distribution, he said.

He added that the hospitals which were inundated during the flood have now started to function and are being
monitored. As to the power supply situation, it was said that 65 per cent of the electricity network has been restored in Srinagar and other districts. However, restoration may take a few more days in Shopian due to heavy damage to electricity towers.

It was informed that rail services have been restored and a train went from Budgam to Baramulla while another is
expected to move from Srinagar to Baramulla tomorrow. The condition of internal roads is also improving and traffic has began to ply, it was added. The Mughal Road has been made functional for traffic movement while vehicles are likely to start plying for tomorrow at Ramsu where heavy landslides caused serious damage to the National Highway.

Earlier in the day, Omar held a meeting of his Council of Ministers in which he decided to start the civil secretariat
from September 18. It was also decided to do away with weekend holidays for the government offices in the Valley, except for educational institutions, till the 'darbar move'.

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