Declare J&K floods national calamity: Ghulam Nabi Azad

Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Saturday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to declare the floods in Jammu and Kashmir a national calamity.

IANS| Last Updated: Sep 07, 2014, 01:24 AM IST

New Delhi: Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Saturday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to declare the floods in Jammu and Kashmir a national calamity.

Talking to the prime minister on phone from Srinagar, Azad also urged him to launch rescue operations with the help of the armed forces as was done during the Uttarakhand floods, a statement said.

The statement said Azad sought the personal attention of the prime minister "in view of the very grave and grim situation prevailing in the entire state."

"It is important to mention that extensive and large scale damage of unprecedented proportions has occurred to public infrastructure, like roads, bridges, drinking water systems, power distribution systems etc. and private properties like houses, shops, vehicles, livestock etc. The devastation has engulfed the entire State from Kathua to Leh, including Samba, Jammu, Doda, Reasi, Rajouri Poonch, Anantnag, Shopian, Pulwama, Kulgam, Srinagar, Baramulla, and it is beyond the capacity and resources of the state government to meet the challenges of the situation," the statement said.

Azad requested the prime minister to immediately place funds at the disposal of the state government, so that the rescue, relief and rehabilitation operations are carried out in an effective and co-ordinated manner.

"While appreciating the role of the armed forces, in coming to the support of state governments in disaster situations like the current one, Azad sought immediate pressing into service of Air Force and Army on the analogy of Uttarakhand disaster, so that stranded people are shifted to safer places more efficiently and effectively," the statement said.

"The prime minister assured all possible help to the state in this hour of crisis," it added.

The Army has already launched 'Operation Sahayata' for rescue and relief in areas of Kashmir Valley, Naushera, Rajouri, Thanamandi and Poonch in coordination with the civil administration.