JAMMU: To have a first-hand assessment of the situation caused by incessant rains, landslides and flash floods, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha and former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad on Wednesday visited Dera Baba and Panjar areas of Reasi and Udhampur Districts respectively. Azad was accompanied by Deputy Chief Minister, Tara Chand.
They conducted aerial survey of the Chenab River and drove to flood affected Dera Baba, Seari Tanda, Karwa and the adjoining areas of Kanjali along the bank of Chenab River and later conducted aerial survey of Pancheri and Panjar hilly areas of Udhampur District.
Pertinently, four habitations were washed out due to rampaging flash floods in Dera area of Reasi District causing loss of precious human lives, damage to private properties like houses, livestock, etc and public infrastructure like roads, electricity, etc.
Similarly, Panjar village of Pancheri Tehsil in Udhampur District has been wiped out from the map, causing scores of deaths with many bodies still buried under the debris.
Laying emphasis on immediate rehabilitation of flood hit victims, Azad called upon the respective Deputy Commissioners to identify land at safer places away from river beds, flood channels and landslide prone areas in order to help the affected families rebuild their lives and that their vulnerability to such calamities is reduced significantly.
While reviewing the relief measures, Azad directed the administration to show promptness in rendering adequate relief to affected people. He called for immediate preparation of list of people affected by damages besides correct assessment of damage to crops, livestock and property.
He also directed to distribute relief material among those who have lost their homes on priority basis and identify government buildings where they can be rehabilitated in the short term.
The Deputy Commissioners informed that a committee of senior district officers has been constituted and assured that there will be absolute transparency in assessment of damages and relief distribution.
Appreciating the role of State Government, District Administrations, NGOs and workers of Congress Party in extending helping hand to the affected people at this critical juncture, Azad assured full support of the State Government to the victims of floods and landslides in terms of providing relief and temporary shelters to them, in addition to rebuilding of houses at new locations. “Entire nation and the State are standing behind youin this catastrophic situation and that we are also here to share your grief and sorrows,” Azad added.
Azad also recalled that Jammu and Kashmir has a history of being hit by floods and therefore, a comprehensive policy taking care of every aspect of flood protection was the need of hour. He also underlined the need of spreading awareness about the threat of natural disasters like floods, landslides, etc so that future constructions are raised on safe areas and in consonance with proper guidelines.”
Interacting with the hapless people of Panjar, Deputy Chief Minister J and K Tara Chand announced upgradation of High School Panjar to the level of Higher Secondary School so that poor students are able avail of higher secondary education at their doorsteps.
The leaders also addressed a public meeting at Krishi Vigan Kendra, Seri and assured full compensation to all those who have been affected by flood. The district administration was asked to immediately start distribution of the free ration.