Massive de-watering operations in Srinagar, 2.26 lakh people rescued in J&K

Massive de-watering operations have been launched in flood-hit areas of Srinagar where some places still lay submerged under 10 feet water nearly two weeks after Jammu and Kashmir was ravaged by floods, as authorities on Monday stepped up efforts to restore normalcy in the Valley.

Srinagar: Massive de-watering operations have been launched in flood-hit areas of Srinagar where some places still lay submerged under 10 feet water nearly two weeks after Jammu and Kashmir was ravaged by floods, as authorities on Monday stepped up efforts to restore normalcy in the Valley.

As fears grew over potential spread of water-borne diseases with flood-waters receding, the demand for filtered water has also increased.

Twenty RO plants with a capacity to filter 4 lakh litres per day from Hyderabad and four RO plants from Delhi with a capacity to filter 1 lakh litre per day are being rushed to Srinagar, Defence spokesperson Col S D Goswami said.

He said that over 2.26 lakh people have been rescued in J and K so far as the rescue and relief operations entered the 14th day today after the worst floods in a century devastated the state. Tens of thousands of people still remain marooned, officials said.

After remaining disrupted for 11 days, Railways today partially resumed train services in the Valley following restoration of tracks damaged by flood waters.

Train services commenced between Srinagar and Baramulla, a senior Northern Railway official said.

The first train departed from Budgam at 12 noon to Baramulla and will commence its return service to Srinagar and thereon.

Massive dewatering operations were launched in flood-hit Rajbagh and Jawahar Nagar areas here, with nearly 30 water pumps, including two heavy duty pumps provided by the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), put into service.

"We have deployed nearly 30 water pumps to dewater Rajbagh and surrounding areas," an official of the Ministry of Home Affairs, overseeing the dewatering operations, told PTI.

The water level in Jhelum has receded significantly over the past five days, enabling authorities to launch dewatering operations.

The Fire and Emergency Services Department has pressed in nearly 20 fire tenders to flush out the water from Rajbagh, Jawahar Nagar, Gogjibagh and Ikhrajpora areas which were the worst hit by floods in the city.

An official of the department said most of the fire tenders in the city have been pressed into dewatering operations but it would be a long drawn process.

"The area is vast and most of areas are low-lying. It would take quite some time to drain out all the water," he said.

The water has receded by eight to 10 feet in most of these areas but the lower lying areas are still submerged in around 10 feet of water.

The MHA official said more heavy duty water pumps like the ones provided by the ONGC are being flown in to expedite the dewatering process.

"We shall be getting another six such pumps by tomorrow as we are trying to clear the area by the end of this week."

Local residents are anxiously watching the water level in the area and are hopeful that the weather will hold over the next few days to help augment the efforts of authorities.