Jammu, March 31 – Armed forces have launched a rescue operation in flood-hit Jammu and Kashmir by deploying 20 columns and kept helicopters on standby. “The Army has placed 20 flood relief columns ready to react and deploy at short notice”, Public Relation Officer (PRO), Defence (Northern Command), Col SD Goswami told PTI.
One Army column consists of 75 to 100 troops. “Due to incessant rains and rising levels of water above danger levels at Sangam and Ram Munshi Bagh, Indian Army was formally requisitioned for aid to civil authorities for floods for Srinagar District from Civil Administration on the evening of 30th March”, Col Goswami said.
In addition, various flood relief stores and equipment have been sidestepped and 30 BAUTS (Boat Assault Universal Type) have been kept ready for deployment at short notice, he said. The Army spokesman said that BAUTS have been shifted from Srinagar to South Kashmir and from North Kashmir to Srinagar.
“The BAUTS have been placed for rescue operations at Pulwama, Kulgam, Baramullah and Khanabal for rescue operations”, he said. In addition 11 Army’s rescue BAUTS have been placed at BB Cantt, four at Haft Chinar and four at Tattoo Ground in Srinagar itself, he added.
He said that Engineer Task Forces have also been kept on standby in 15 and 16 Corps area. “In addition water pumps have been placed at Shivpora, Srinagar for de-watering and additional pumps have been placed at Badami Bagh Cantonment for utilizing in flood affected areas at short notice”.
A Joint Control Room (JCR) has been established by Army at Badami Bagh Cantonment, he said, adding that Officer Representatives have also been provided for JCRs established by Civil Administration at Anantnag, Srinagar and Baramulla. Emergency Contact Nos of the Army JCR is 2701083.
The Indian Air Force has placed its resources on standby and is also keeping a close watch on the flood situation in the state, Col Goswami said. “Two Mi-17 helicopters each at Jammu, Udhampur and Srinagar. And one each Cheetah helicopter of IAF are on standby at Srinagar and Jammu to be part of rescue and relief operations”, the PRO said.
“A house had collapsed at Laten in South Kashmir on 29th March. Army’s rescue column was immediately dispatched for rescue operation and operations are in progress”, Col Goswami said. He said that an Army column with JCBs (excavators) was provided at Baramulla area for flood control operations.
Army has also undertaken strengthening of weak points on the anti-flood bund along Jhelum river at two locations in Sonawar Area, Col Goswami said, adding that continuous vigil of areas along River Jhelum, slide and avalanche prone areas is being maintained.
IAF has assured civil administration of all possible assistance in this time of crisis, he added. “As part of rescue and relief operations the troops of Army’s White Knight Corps in a daring act rescued 24 villagers of Chandak villagers near Kalai bridge”, he added.