No time for blame game over Kashmir floods: Jitendra Singh

New Delhi, Sep 9: The Narendra Modi government is doing everything it can to help Jammu and Kashmir tide over the flood calamity that has claimed the lives of around 200 people so far and caused immense damage, Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions Jitendra Singh said on Tuesday.

Singh, who belongs to the state, in answer to a query at a press conference here, said it was not the time for blame game over the floods.

"This is not the time for blame game. This is not the intent of the government of India. We need to put together all our might to help the state. We cannot fault anyone (over the floods)," he said.

Jammu and Kashmir has been hit by the worst floods in six decades that have left the Kashmir Valley, including Srinagar city, marooned. Most of the state capital is under several feet of water and telecommunication and electricity lines have snapped.

Incessant rain for several days caused the Jhelum river and other water bodies to overflow.

The army and the National Disaster Response Force have been helping rescue people stranded on roof tops and other places and ferrying them to safer locations.

Singh said that BSNL is trying to restore communication links in Srinagar, but it will be at least a few days before it is restored. "The BSNL is shifting its equipment to Srinagar... The government is sending supplies to the state, for which arrangements are in place, the medical units are on stand-by," he said.

He termed the flood situation in the state unprecedented and said that most of Srinagar had got drowned in the flood waters.

To reports that the weatherman had failed to predict the inclement weather or that the state administration had failed to warn people in advance about Jhelum river breaching its banks, Singh said the weather forecast of Jammu and Kashmir is "very accurate". He said the meteorological department had accurately predicted the weather for the Badrinath Yatra.

"I am not prepared to find fault... We should instead put all our energies to help the state wriggle out of it," he said.

Singh, who is also Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences, said monsoon prediction in Jammu and Kashmir is "almost 100 percent accurate".

He said that from next year an improvised weather forecast mechanism would be installed at the holy Vaishno Devi shrine in Jammu for pilgrims.


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