POONCH: Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah visited flood affected areas of Tehsil Surankote and Haveli on Monday and conducted an aerial survey along River Poonch to take stock of the havoc caused by the incessant rains and flash floods. He was accompanied by Minister of State for Home, Sajjad Ahmed Kichloo.
The Chief Minister held public meeting at Dak Banglow in Surankote where he assured adequate compensation to all those who have been affected by the flash floods.
He directed the authorities to expedite the process of relief distribution and restoration of essential services. Deputy Chairman Legislative Council, Javed A Rana, District Development Commissioner, Mohammad Hussain Malik, DIG R-P Range, Ashok Kumar Attri, Mushtaq Ahmed Bukhari and Mohd Akram Choudhary received him at Surankote.
Omar took stock of the damage caused to Sher-e-Kashmir Bridge and the adjoining residential areas of Shanker Nagar that has been washed away in the floods. He interacted with some of the affected families there and assured them assistance.
Omar also visited a relief camp run by the district administration at Gujjar and Bakerwal Hostel and ascertained the status of their welfare. He asked the DDC to ensure availability of food, blankets and other items of requirement to the flood-hit families. Addressing more than 400 affected persons at the Gujjar and Bakarwal Hostel, he assured them that they will be rehabilitated at the earliest.
Expressing solidarity with the affected people, the Chief Minister said that “we should learn from this disaster and rebuilt and rehabilitate in a planned manner.” He would ensured provision of essential commodities to the people in their hour of distress.
Thereafter, Omar chaired a meeting of district officers in the conference hall of the DC office complex where District Development Commissioner, M H Malik gave power point presentation of the damages caused by the flash floods and incessant rains.
He informed the Chief Minister that as many as 26 human lives have been lost while 65 persons have been injured in the flood affected areas in the district. He informed that 20 dead bodies have been recovered so far from various locations along the course of the river. He apprised about the devastation in the villages as a result of landslides and huge damage caused to private property, houses, crops, cattle and public infrastructure including roads, bridges, schools, water supply schemes and power installations. The Chief Minister was also briefed on the rescue and relief operation put in place in the District.
Omar asked the Legislators from the district to remain available in the district to the affected people. He complimented the district administration for proactive and efficient handling of the crisis and assured all the help for rehabilitation and restoration process.
Later in Rajouri, the Chief Minister visited the bereaved families of Nowshera bus accident victims and expressed sympathies with the aggrieved members. He also visited the flood victims lodged in Gurdwara and gave a patient hearing to their grievances while assuring all possible help. He instructed the district administration to leave no stone unturned to help in the settlement of flood victims and to assure their proper rehabilitation.
Omar directed the officers to work on war footing to restore the essential services and public utilities. He asked the DDC to project the demand for complete restoration of the damaged infrastructure and relief material like tents, blankets etc as there is no constraint of funds in the present situation for providing the relief to needy.
The Chief Minister was presented a memorandum of demands by the Sarpanch which mainly included employment to the next of kin of the deceased Nowshera bus victims.