Supreme Court panel chides J&K Government on handling floods

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Srinagar: The state government failed to warn people of the fast approaching deluge despite knowing in advance that the flood waters had crossed the danger level at Sangam in south Kashmir, a Supreme Court constituted committee alleged on Monday.
In its interim report, the committee constituted to monitor the situation after the Great September Flood, especially the distribution of relief among the survivors, said no effective steps were taken to warn people residing in vulnerable areas of the city of fast approaching flood waters or to evacuate them.
“It (flood waters) was observed to have crossed 17 feet above the danger point at Sangam, where a gauge had been installed to measure its level. It normally takes 6-7 hours from that point to reach Srinagar city,” the report stated, as reported by Greater Kashmir.
After interacting with flood-affected people in twenty districts of Jammu and Kashmir vis-à-vis the relief distribution, the committee said that “common refrain in these areas is that people in these areas have not got any relief so far”.
“They rather claim that the govt has left them to fend for themselves,” the report said, adding the people even said that free ration was being distributed by vested interests to people who have not been affected.
In view of approaching winters, the committee members suggested that concrete arrangements have to be made for the speedy rehabilitation of flood survivors “so that they can survive during the ensuing winter”.
They also appealed to the state to provide free medical care including implants to the patients at least for a period of six months.
The committee, constituted on September 24 on the plea of petitioners, including J&K National Panthers Party and others, was directed to submit the interim report by October 10.

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