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All-round devastation in flood-affected Poonch

Poonch: Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Health Minister of India, has asked for additional consignments of emergency medicines to be despatched to Jammu where the destruction of property and marooning of people has acquired great proportions. After reviewing the situation in the region during a day-long tour today, the Minister said various kinds of antibiotics, oral rehydration solution sachets, anti- diarrhoeal drugs, chlorine tablets, bleaching powder, medicines for eye and skin infections, IV fluids and other essential drugs will be sent within the next few days.  “We have already despatched a large quantity of medicines over the past week but on seeing the needs there myself, I feel we have to boost up the stocks to deal with the post-flood situation which from my experience tends to drag on for months. I have requested the J&K government officials to feel free to ask for anything because the Prime Minister has himself pledged whole-hearted support,” Dr Harsh Vardhan said. Soon after arriving in Jammu, the Minister took a meeting of state officials who included the Divisional Commissioner, the Deputy Commissioners of Jammu and Poonch, the Director of Health Services, the Medical Superintendant of Medical College, Jammu, officials of the National Rural Health Mission, the Chief Engineer, Public Health Engineering, and the Municipal Commissioner of Jammu.  The Union Minister was accompanied by Mr Anshu Prakash, Joint Secretary, and Dr B.D. Athani, Special Director General of Health Services. Tomorrow Dr Harsh Vardhan will visit the Kashmir valley where the devastation to life and property is on a much larger scale. In Poonch, the Minister saw for himself the all-round devastation. He recalled, “Many houses and shops have been washed away due to flooding of river Poonch, flowing by the town. I visited the relief camp and interacted with the local people to know their difficulties. I assured them of full support from New Delhi.” The Minister visited patients at the district hospital in Poonch. In Poonch town, 26 people have reportedly died in the floods. He inquired into the conditions at other health facilities of the region also. When it was reported to him that there were problems with the diesel generator sets in the hospital in Jammu, Dr Harsh Vardhan assured the local authorities of central help for their resolution.  Dr Harsh Vardhan said, “A team of doctors from central government hospitals is ready to be sent. The Indian Medical Association and Delhi Medical Association are also standing by. I have asked the Commissioner to work out a detailed deployment plan.” Meanwhile, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams today distributed 05 tons of relief materials in flood affected areas. So far, NDRF teams evacuated more than 42,920 flood victims and distributed 35 tons of relief materials in flood affected areas. Rescue and evacuation operation is still going on. The rescue and evacuation operation by NDRF in flood affected parts of Jammu and Kashmir are continued. 22 Urban Search and Rescue teams of NDRF comprising of more than 1000 rescuers and 150 boats and other life saving equipments are working relentlessly in adverse conditions to provide immediate relief to flood victims.

About Sanjay Trivedi

Sanjay Trivedi is honorary editor of Asia Times. He is senior Indian Journalist having vast experience of 25 years. He worked in Janmabhoomi, Vyapar, Divya Bhaskar etc. newspapers and TV9 Channel as well as www.news4education.com. He also served as Media Officer in Gujarat Technological University.

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