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J&K: Help still out of bounds for 10 villages

Source: PTI
October 12, 2005 18:38 IST
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Rescue and relief operations continued on a war footing on Wednesday in quake-affected areas of Jammu and  Kashmir with help, in cash and kind, pouring in from all over the country even as 10 villages in Uri sector remained inaccessible.

Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed admitted that despite strenuous efforts by the civil and army authorities, 10 villages were still out of bounds for relief workers due to landslides and difficult terrain.

"We have made efforts to reach hitherto inaccessible villages. Almost all villages have been brought on communication link and relief material is being supplied to these areas," Sayeed told reporters in Srinagar and added that though his government had acquired whatever tents were available within the state, and from Punjab, Haryana and the army, it was still short of the requirement," he said.

Describing the situation in worst-hit north Kashmir as "critical," a defence spokesman of the Northern Command said in Jammu that the army had dispatched 400 tons of ration and rehabilitation efforts were being intensified in view of snowfall which was making it difficult for the survivors who had little with them to cope with the harsh weather.

About 100 tonnes of ration have been dispatched to North Kashmir yesterday and another with 400 tents and 2,000 blankets was on its way, he said.

While most of the essentials are being airlifted, convoys are also moving forward to reduce the airload, the defence spokesman said.

Army has established camps in the worst-hit Uri and Tangdhar areas and was providing tents, blankets, sleeping bags, winter clothing and boots besides food.

As many as 13,000 food packets had been either distributed or air-dropped in the regions so far, he said, adding that special efforts are being made to ensure hygiene and sanitation.

Sayeed said the magnitude 7.6 temblor had wreaked havoc in Uri, Tangdhar and Poonch areas and was overwhelmed with the support that had poured in from all over the country.  

While the Centre has given Rs 642 crore, Andhra Pradesh has pledged Rs two crore, Orissa, Haryana, Uttaranchal and West Bengal have given Rs one crore each while Karnataka (Rs 50 lakh) and the erstwhile ruler of the state Karan singh (Rs 20 lakh) have also come forward with help, he said.

Non governmental organisations like the Rajiv Gandhi foundation contributed 60,000 blankets and 44 tonnes of sugar, he disclosed, adding that nearly 80,000 blankets and 2288 tents have been received from Delhi.

There is no shortage of medicines as adequate quantity has already been placed at Uri and Tangdhar, the defence spokesman said, adding that more rescue teams with trained dogs had been sent to Tangdhar and efforts are on to clear roads and tracks leading to remote areas.

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