Srinagar: Water levels have started receding in Srinagar city, one of the worst hit by the deluge, facilitating rescue workers to pluck out another 29,000 persons to safety but four lakh people were on Wednesday still waiting for help in the flood-ravaged Kashmir Valley.
Scaling up rescue work, Army and IAF have deployed 329 columns and 79 aircraft and helicopters to evacuate those stranded and provide food and medicines.
"A massive rescue and relief operation by Indian armed forces is continuing on a war footing in Jammu and Kashmir with over 76,500 persons rescued so far by the Armed forces and NDRF in different regions of the state", PRO, Defence, Col G D Goswami said today.
"79 transport aircraft and helicopters of Indian Air Force and Army Aviation Corp have been pressed into service. Army has deployed 329 columns of its personnel for rescue and relief operations, in which 244 columns deployed in Srinagar region and 85 columns in Jammu region", he said.
In general the water level is receding but areas downstream of Jhelum River are experiencing increase in water levels, he said.
"In Srinagar town there is a decrease in water level by 3 to 4 feet since the beginning of the floods, whereas there is a rise of 6 inches in Wuller Lake.?Manasbal Lake saw a reduction by 3 inches bringing the water level to 18.3 feet, which is still 4.3 feet above danger mark," the PRO said.
Srinagar town remains the most critical part of flood hit areas.
"All those areas where it was not possible to reach earlier remain the focus of the rescue mission today," he stressed and added that the reas of Rajbag, Jawahar Nagar, Gogji Bag and Shivpora where the bulk of the stranded people are located saw major effort for evacuation.
While greater desperation was seen in areas which are on the outer fringes, people in the interiors of these colonies are displaying a great sense of responsibility and directing the rescue teams to those people who are worse affected.
Many camps of Army located in South Kashmir and Srinagar have also been flooded and over 1000 Army personnel and families are stranded without food and water. Water, electricity, supplies and other services have been hit within the cantonments.