Srinagar/New Delhi: Armed forces stepped up rescue efforts in Jammu and Kashmir, evacuating over 47,000 people so far, while government agencies tried to restore road and communication links snapped in the state's worst floods in 50 years.
Nearly 200 have died of the floods.
Aid for the beleaguered northern state poured in with various state governments announcing aid and relief material. Uttar Pradesh pledged Rs.20 crore, Maharashtra Rs.10 crore, Bihar Rs.9 crore and Odisha Rs.5 crore. Congress legislators in Goa decided to pool in a month's salary each and the Delhi unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party sent two trucks of relief supplies.
Jitendra Singh, minister of state in the Prime Minister's Office who belongs to the state, said the Narendra Modi government is doing everything it can to help Jammu and Kashmir tide over the calamity.
Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said the first priority of the government is to save human lives.
Various agencies including the three defense services and the National Disaster Response Force made coordinated efforts to rescue people, many of them clinging onto rooftops.
With the floods having washed away most roads, people continued to be stranded in several areas of the state.
Officials estimate the toll across the state could be around 200, but it is feared that the toll could be much higher.
A Defense Ministry spokesperson said armed forces and NDRF have so far rescued 47,227 people across the state.
Cabinet Secretary Ajit Seth on Tuesday chaired a meeting of the National Crisis Management Committee to review the situation as flood waters continued to play havoc in Srinagar. Though the water level in the Jhelum River receded marginally, the backwaters of the Dal Lake inundated more areas of the city.
Large parts of Srinagar are still under several feet of water, and telecommunication and electricity lines have snapped.
Authorities scrambled to rescue the marooned people and tried to restore the telecommunications network that has been on the blink for the past three days. Officials said four satellite transmitting towers are being set up in Srinagar and other places.
More than 500 hostel students of the National Institute of Technology in the Hazratbal area were shifted to safer locations after water from the Dal Lake entered the school’s campus. Flood waters have also entered portions of the Hazratbal shrine but the authorities confirmed that the holy relic of the prophet is safe.
With power supply in the Kashmir Valley disrupted, 6,000 solar lanterns were being mobilized. Air India has declared free passage for tourists trapped in Srinagar.
The army has distributed 7,200 blankets and 210 tents to flood victims, while 80 teams of the Armed Forces Medical Services have been pressed into action.
Indian Air Force airplanes and helicopters have so far carried out 451 sorties, dropping 563 tons of relief material.
A Defense Ministry spokesperson said five task forces of Border Roads Organization, which include 5,700 personnel, have been pressed into service to restore the road connectivity.
The army also restored road connectivity to Kashmir Valley from the Leh region. The valley had been cut off from the rest of the country for seven days.