Kashmir floods: Army help not to be taken as yet

Jammu: The Jammu and Kashmir government on Monday said that as of now it has no plans to call out the army to assist civil administration to tackle the floods.

“The army is always on the alert. But, as of now we have no plans to call out the army for assisting the civilian administration to tackle the flood situation,” Naeem Akhtar, senior minister in the PDP-BJP government, told reporters in Jammu on Monday.

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“We have the disaster management in place and our administration has been geared up to tackle any situation that may arise,” he added.

Police confirmed that two houses collapsed in Laden village of Charar-e-Sharif area in Budgam district. Sixteen people are feared trapped under the debris which is being cleared.

Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh told the state assembly in Jammu on Monday that flood situation has been declared in the entire state following four days of heavy downpour that has caused the Jhelum river to rise above the danger level in the valley.

Singh said according to unconfirmed reports, some people have died and 21 others have gone missing in these floods, but these reports are yet to be verified.

He said a lot of rumour mongering has been going on through YouTube and other social media sites and this is responsible for creating panic among the people as their horrifying memories of last year’s flood devastation are still alive.

Former chief minister and National Conference leader Omar Abdullah said in the state assembly that his party would not politicise these floods.

“We will not do any politics on these floods. We have learnt a lot from last year’s devastating floods.”

“But, we want to ask the government what measures are being taken to meet the threat and also to ensure that floods do not play havoc with the lives and property of people.”

After reviewing the flood situation in the Kashmir Valley, Chief Minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed returned to Jammu where the state legislature is holding its budget session.