J&K floods toll crosses 260; PDS supply resumes

The death toll in Jammu and Kashmir has crossed 260 with Jammu region accounting for most of the deaths in the worst flood in the state in more than a century.

PTI| Last Updated: Sep 18, 2014, 19:09 PM IST

Srinagar: The death toll in Jammu and Kashmir has crossed 260 with Jammu region accounting for most of the deaths in the worst flood in the state in more than a century.

The death toll in Jammu region was 210 while in Kashmir Valley so far 54 bodies have been recovered, officials said.

"We have recovered 190 bodies while 20 others were washed away, and presumed dead, in the flood affected areas of Jammu division. Rajouri district was the worst-hit in terms of loss of life," a senior official from Jammu said.

Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, Rohit Kansal told PTI that 54 bodies have been recovered from various parts of the Valley so far.

Jammu and Kashmir was hit by the worst-ever floods since 1892, wreaking havoc in several districts on either side of the Pir Panjal mountain range.

Public infrastructure like bridges, roads and government buildings worth several thousand crore has been destroyed by the floods while the damage to private property including crops like apple and paddy is estimated to be several times higher.

Meanwhile, the Centre today said supply of PDS foodgrains to flood-hit Jammu and Kashmir has resumed and the state has lifted 21,000 tonnes of rice so far this month.

"After the opening of Jammu-Srinagar National Highway, supply of foodgrains from Jammu to Srinagar valley has resumed," an official statement said.

With water levels receding, offtake of foodgrains by the state government have started. "So far, 21,000 tonnes rice offtake has been reported this month," it said.

Food Minister Ram Villas Paswan, who reviewed the PDS foodgrains supply to the flood-hit state, directed the FCI officials to provide "uninterrupted" supply of grains to the state and if required even on credit basis.

The statement said that the state-run Food Corporation of India (FCI) has supplied 1.65 lakh tonnes of rice in 10 kg packs for distribution in far flung areas of the flood-hit region on the request of the state government.

The Minister assured that the Centre is ready to provide more rice in 10 kg packs if requested.

FCI had 1.9 lakh tonne of foodgrains in its godowns as on September 9, 2014, enough to meet the PDS requirements of the State for next three months.

The hilly State is facing the worst floods in 109 years.