Online edition of India's National Newspaper
Friday, Feb 25, 2005

About Us
Contact Us

Adityaram Properties

Front Page
News: Front Page | National | Tamil Nadu | Andhra Pradesh | Karnataka | Kerala | New Delhi | Other States | International | Opinion | Business | Sport | Miscellaneous | Engagements |
Advts:
Classifieds | Employment |

Front Page Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

Fresh snow, VIP visits hamper rescue operations

By Shujaat Bukhari

WALTENGU, FEB. 24. Rescue operations in this devastated South Kashmir village were hampered as fresh snow lashed the area today.

The Director General of Police, Gopal Sharma, ordered a company of Armed Police to join the operations.

After the road to Waltengu was cleared, officials went to the spot to expedite rescue operations but were delayed by fresh snowfall. Top officials in Srinagar said the excavations were continuing despite the difficulties the harsh terrain posed.

More delays

The volunteers said that the visits of officials and politicians, including the National Conference president, Omar Abdullah, delayed the operations further due to the security arrangements. "They (police) do not allow us to go ahead," said Abdur Rehman of Panzeth, one of the 50-odd villagers. They were stopped to make way for the VIPcavalcades using the 15-km road from Qazigund. The village, he said, needed workers who could really do the job and not just make lofty promises.

The surviving residents go on with the rescue work. However, there is hardly any life after the snow. "It is like a ghost town," said Qadir Chechi, an elderly villager. "All the volunteers go home after the day's work."

Today, the Divisional Commissioner - Kashmir, Khurshid Ganai, and the Inspector-General of Police, Javed Mukhdoomi, visited the area. The authorities took medicines, food grains, blankets and other items for the people.

Villagers are keen to distribute the relief on their own without official involvement. They do not want to see the rescue operation being hijacked.

The Director - Health Services, Muzaffar Ahmed, visited Waltengu on Wednesday along with his team of doctors and a fleet of ambulances.

The DGP, Gopal Sharma, said the police was doing its best to manage the crisis. Apart from the dispatch of 250 shovels, he announced that a company would lead the operation in the village. "A communication network and a makeshift helipad are to be set up near the village," he said.

`Alarming situation'

Officials admitted that the situation was alarming as massive snowfall — a record after February 1996 when 4.5 meters was recorded in Banihal — has blocked all access paths to the upper reaches.In certain areas, 40-foot deposits have been reported.

Printer friendly page  
Send this article to Friends by E-Mail

Front Page

News: Front Page | National | Tamil Nadu | Andhra Pradesh | Karnataka | Kerala | New Delhi | Other States | International | Opinion | Business | Sport | Miscellaneous | Engagements |
Advts:
Classifieds | Employment | Updates: Breaking News |

Clasic Farm


News Update


The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | Business Line | The Sportstar | Frontline | The Hindu eBooks | The Hindu Images | Home |

Copyright 2005, The Hindu. Republication or redissemination of the contents of this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of The Hindu