J&K flood: Army deploys 20 columns, IAF choppers on standby

With Jammu and Kashmir facing flood again after the devastating calamity last September, Armed forces have launched a rescue operation by deploying 20 columns in the state and kept helicopters on standby.

PTI| Last Updated: Mar 31, 2015, 00:12 AM IST

Jammu: With Jammu and Kashmir facing flood again after the devastating calamity last September, Armed forces have launched a rescue operation by deploying 20 columns in the state and kept helicopters on standby.

"The Army has placed 20 flood relief columns ready to react and deploy at short notice", Public Relation Officer (PRO), Defence (Northern Command), Col S D Goswami told PTI.

One army column consists of 75 to 100 troops.

"Due to incessant rains and rising levels of water above danger levels at Sangam and Ram Munshi Bagh, Indian Army was formally requisitioned for aid to civil authorities for floods for Srinagar District from Civil Administration on the evening of 30th March", Col Goswami said.

In addition, various flood relief stores and equipment have been sidestepped and 30 BAUTS (Boat Assault Universal Type) have been kept ready for deployment at short notice, he said.

The Army spokesman said that BAUTS have been shifted from Srinagar to South Kashmir and from North Kashmir to Srinagar. "The BAUTS have been placed for rescue operations at Pulwama, Kulgam, Baramullah and Khanabal for rescue operations", he said.

In addition 11 Army's rescue BAUTS have been placed at BB Cantt, four at Haft Chinar and four at Tattoo Ground in Srinagar itself, he added.

He said that Engineer Task Forces have also been kept on standby in 15 and 16 Corps area. "In addition water pumps have been placed at Shivpora, Srinagar for de-watering and additional pumps have been placed at Badami Bagh Cantonment for utilizing in flood affected areas at short notice".

A Joint Control Room (JCR) has been established by Army at Badami Bagh Cantonment, he said, adding that Officer Representatives have also been provided for JCRs established by Civil Administration at Anantnag, Srinagar and Baramulla. Emergency Contact Nos of the Army JCR is 2701083.

The Indian Air Force has placed its resources on standby and is also keeping a close watch on the flood situation in the state, Col Goswami said.

"Two Mi-17 helicopters each at Jammu, Udhampur and Srinagar. And one each Cheetah helicopter of IAF are on standby at Srinagar and Jammu to be part of rescue and relief operations", the PRO said.