Srinagar, 14 September 2014: Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Health Minister, has proposed that boats be mobilised to send medical supplies to the people of the inundated areas of Srinagar who find it impossible to venture out of their homes because of the high flood waters.
Returning here after a day’s tour of the flood ravaged areas, Dr Harsh Vardhan said that the Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah, had received his proposal positively. “The Chief Minister has directed his officials to mobilise the available boats and start something on an urgent basis. Meanwhile, I am arranging for accelerating the supply side especially in respect of doctors and health workers,” he said.
Narinder Nath Vora, the Governor of Jammu and Kashmir, on whom the Minister made a call, had also agreed to push this idea. People suffering from diabetes, hypertension among the cut-off population need to be urgently rushed their dozes of medicines. Only boats laden with such drugs can access such people.
The J&K Chief Minister praised the functioning of the reverse osmosis water treatment plants sent through Red Cross. The central government had also sent 80 women gynaecologists whose role had met with wide appreciation among the affected population.
Simultaneously, the Union Minister has urged the state’s health secretary and other officials of the urgent need to dispose of the carcasses lying around Srinagar. Pointing out that a number of diseases could spread because of the omnipresence of dead animals, he also urged the launch of an information-education-communication-intervention offensive to make people conscious of the need to boil water before drinking and observing other hygienic parameters of the present situation.
“I have urged for central monitoring of the supply of filtered water. For people cut off I have advised that chlorine tablets be supplied. Just one tablet dissolved in 20 litres of water after 30 minutes could safeguard people against water borne diseases,” Dr Harsh Vardhan pointed out.
The Minister appreciated the work of the Army, BSF and other agencies which are working round the clock to reach succour to the affected population. “There are a large number of doctors from Delhi’s central government hospitals who rushed there at this calamitous time. I can’t muster enough words in their praise,” he said.
Accompanied by officials of the Ministry who included Dr P. Ravindran, Director, Emergency Medical Relief, Dr Venkatesh, Additional Director, National Centre for Disease Control, and Anshu Prakash, Joint Secretary, Dr Harsh Vardhan visited the Hum Huma Relief Camp in Srinagar. He visited the 60-bed composite hospital run by the BSF. His special concern was the neo-natal cases and he inquired into their care. He stopped at the Ada Sayad Memorial District Hospital in Budgaon and interacted with doctors and patients. At the Army Base Hospital he inspected the facilities for premature birth cases.
Dr Harsh Vardhan, who visited the affected areas of Jammu and Poonch yesterday, also met the Union Home Secretary, Anil Goswami, who is camping in Srinagar. “We discussed how best the relief work can be coordinated,” he added.
Over 1,84,000 persons have been rescued so far by the Armed Forces and NDRF from different parts of Jammu & Kashmir in the ongoing rescue and relief operations in the flood ravaged State.
Thirteen tonnes of water purifying tablets and six water filtration plants with a capacity to filter 1.2 lakh bottles per day has already reached Srinagar. Engineering stores including suction pumps from Vishakhapatnam have reached the flood affected area. More heavy duty pumps being airlifted from Jodhpur and Raipur today. Sewage pumps from Delhi have also been dispatched to the valley. Thirty generator sets of 3 to 5 KVA capacity have also been sent to Srinagar to augment continuous power supply in relief camps and field hospitals. Additional communication equipments of BSNL are being dispatched to restore the communication systems in the State.
8,200 blankets and 1392 tents were provided to the flood victims. 80 medical teams of the Armed Forces Medical Services are already operating in full swing. Four Field Hospitals have been established in Avantipur, Pattan, Anantnag and Old Airfield where medical aid is being provided to the ailing people. Till now they have treated around 51,476 patients. Two additional fully equipped field hospitals with laboratory testing equipment facility have also been established in Srinagar. More relief materials including blankets and tents, water bottles from IRCTC and food packets are being airlifted from Patna, Delhi, Ahmedabad and Amritsar.
Eighty four transport aircraft and helicopters of Indian Air Force and Army Aviation Corps are continuing their efforts in rescue and relief operations. Army has deployed around 30,000 troops for rescue and relief operations in the flood affected area. More than 5,08,000 litres of water, 3,10,000 food packets and over 1054 tonnes cooked food have already been airdropped and distributed in the flood-affected areas.
So far 2253 sorties were undertaken by the helicopters and aircraft of Armed Forces and 3017 tonnes of relief materials have been dropped by the Indian Air Force. A total of 224 boats of Army and 148 NDRF’s inflatable boats are actively involved in the rescue operation.