Border Roads Organisation asked to clear Leh-Manali Highway in three days

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Leh, Aug 10 (ANI): Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has directed the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) to clear the Leh-Manali highway within next three days to restore Leh's road link with the rest of the country. The highway was swept away by the flash floods.

Abdullah, who reached Leh for the second time since a cloudburst hit the region, asked officials to ensure a quick restoration of public services and rehabilitation of the affected families in Leh and nearby areas.

Omar, who was accompanied by a team of administrative secretaries, heads of departments and chief engineers, visited various places in Leh and its periphery to assess the requirements for restoration of utility services.

He also assured the supply of essential good and healthcare services for the affected people and assessed the prevailing situation.

He informed that most of the people have been rescued, and now, they are working towards reinstating modes of connectivity in order to launch the restoration and rehabilitation work on a war footing.

"We have been able to pull people out from areas that had been affected by the cloudburst. Now, at the same time, our effort is to reconnect areas that were cut off. Bridges, roads, that need to be connected so that we can begin to get information from the outlining areas, supply relief materials," he said.

He has also instructed the ministers of his cabinet to avoid visiting the affected areas as it will divert attention from the ongoing relief works.

A programme should be initiated to help in speedy rehabilitation of the affected people before the onset of winter, Omar told the officials.

The cloudburst has caused extensive damage in the Ladakh region where houses are traditionally built in mud. Telephone towers and government buildings have been flattened.

Several towers of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL), the state-owned telecommunications undertaking, were destroyed, cutting off all communication to the area. (ANI)

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