R S PURA: The army in the Northern Command has launched ‘Operation Megh Rahat’ in which over 185 relief columns have been employed. The army has successfully evacuated more than 11,500 people to safer places. It has also provided food, shelter and medicines to more than 5,000 people of the State.
As incessant rains and flooding due to rising water levels in the Chenab and Tawi Rivers have continued to play havoc, large areas of Paragwal, Makwal and RS Pura Sectors of Jammu District have been inundated affecting a large number of people of these areas. Most of the flooded areas are close to International Border (IB), thus also affecting the BSF and army troops deployed in these areas.
Tiger Division of the Rising Star Corps, in a proactive manner in Jammu District, has established six relief camps, at Paragwal, Rajpur, Gagharial, Sohanjana, Hazi Naka and Makwal, and has launched 20 columns to help and rescue stranded civilians in these flood affected areas. Formation Commanders and Commanding Officers of Tiger Division, alongwith their teams, have been personally supervising the rescue operations.
Paragwal Sector has been the worst affected where over 3,000 civilians have been rescued and shifted to safe areas. Over 800 civilians have also been rescued from other flood affected areas around Jammu. Army helicopters have also assisted BSF, in relocation of their troops to safe areas in the vicinity of International Border. Air operations by the Indian Air Force are still continuing.
General Officer Commanding, 16 Corps also addressed a press conference today where he highlighted the major achievements of the army stating that 10 Relief Camps were started and eight relief camps are presently functioning. Aid is being rendered to 1,500 – 2,000 people. Four thousand blankets and one thousand tents are being also handed over to the civil administration. A total of 52 dead bodies have been recovered by the army as on date. Road connectivity in particular connectivity to the villages is of paramount importance.
In yet another effort, Border Road Organisation’s Project Sampark has undertaken a major effort to restore connectivity in Jammu region particularly to ensure traffic on Jammu-Rajouri-Poonch Highway. There has been an extensively damage to all major roads at large number of locations for which manpower and major equipment has been deployed around the clock to clear breaches on various roads and remove major landslides to connect Poonch via Shahpur and restore traffic to other border areas. Major effort is underway to lay bridges over Drungali Nallah and TDR Nallah for Chakan-da-Bagh where bridges have been washed away. The troops working on various sectors have cleared over 236 landslides/breaches and project has committed over 46 Officers, 96 supervisors, 6,600 CPLs with over 160 heavy machinery and other major engineer equipment available with them.
Later, in the day the Chief of Army Staff was briefed by the Army Commander, Northern Command on the overall situation and the rescue operations being undertaken by the army. General Dalbir Singh commended all ranks for the timely assistance rendered to the civil populace. He also complimented the officers and men of the Northern Command for extending humanitarian assistance to the Awam at this time of crisis.