With rain keeping away on Monday, rescue operations in flood-ravaged Jammu and Kashmir were stepped up to evacuate thousands of people still stranded without any amenities.
For the first time, Naval commandos joined the nearly 20,000 armed forces personnel in the rescue mission even as the death toll inched up to 200. Despite the better weather, the flood situation remained critical in Kashmir because of the swirling waters of the Jhelum and the overflowing Dal Lake in Srinagar. The situation in Jammu, however, improved a little. The miseries of the people in south Kashmir and Srinagar were compounded by the scarcity of food, drinking water, clothes and medicines.
Telecommunication lines remained disrupted even as the Centre rushed in a team of officials to help restore communication links.
“All our facilities in Srinagar are submerged, but we as well as private operators have sent a team of officials there to start work on restoring the network,” Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said. Defence officials said nearly 23,000 people have been evacuated so far, including 2,000 from Srinagar city and its neighbouring areas.