J&K ruler governor N N Vohra says the great September 2014 floods impacted 15 lakh families across J&K. In Kashmir Valley, about one and a half lakh marooned persons were rescued while in the Jammu region thousands had to be evacuated to safer places, he said in his message on the eve of the Republic Day.
The Governor said the rescue operations launched by the administration were very strongly supported by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and the Army. Air Force, he said, evacuated over 15,000 flood affected persons and carried out hundreds of sorties for air dropping packets of water, food, medical and other essential supplies.
Vohra observed with satisfaction that in the rescue operations invaluable help was provided by the local youth, representatives of the civil society organisations and Non-Governmental Organisations from within the State and elsewhere in the country. He thanked all of them, particularly the local youth who played a truly commendable role and took untold risks in providing valuable assistance to the flood victims.
The Governor observed that on the very day the floods engulfed the whole of Srinagar city, the Prime Minister had visited Jammu and Srinagar and announced a Special Plan Assistance of Rs 1,000 crore for the reconstruction of public infrastructure. He added that after the floods had receded, the State government had assessed the total loss on all fronts and forwarded a comprehensive report to the Government of India, which is being pursued for a very early decision. He said that meanwhile, close attention is being paid to ensure that the corpus of Rs 1,191 crore, available under the State Disaster Response Fund, is fully utilised and the relief distribution work is completed very early.
The Governor observed, “because of the consistently negative trans-border factors and recurring challenges to the maintenance of peace and normalcy, Jammu and Kashmir has continued to face varied hurdles in maintaining the required pace for securing its growth and developmental goals”.
The Governor noted that maintenance of peace and public order are imperative for securing sustained growth and development. It is a matter for serious concern that the past year witnessed repeated violations of the Ceasefire Agreement and continuing attempts at infiltration across the International Border and the Line of Control. In the Jammu region, there were two terrorist attacks across the IB last year. The repeated instances of unprovoked heavy firing from across the border caused loss of innocent lives and damage to the properties of those who are living in the villages along the border, he observed.
The Governor said, “I take this opportunity to salute the State and Central Armed Police Forces and the Army for their uncompromising commitment and devotion to duty and pay homage to all the brave officers and men who have sacrificed their lives to safeguard national security”.
Referring to the Assembly elections held in the State recently, the Governor observed that notwithstanding their sufferings and varied threats this election witnessed a voter turnout of an unprecedented high level which confirmed, yet again, the people’s deeply rooted trust in the democratic process.
The Governor said, “after the successful conduct of elections to the State Assembly, which were visibly free and fair, I believe that the people’s mandate shall very soon lead to the installation of the next government”. He referred to the imposition of Governor’s Rule in the State and hoped that the present spell of governance under his charge will soon come to an end, when the elected representatives form government and take over the responsibility of running the affairs of Jammu and Kashmir”.