"We are aware of the approaching winter. We will take all the steps to ensure that the people affected by floods do not suffer any further," Secretary to state government's Revenue, Relief and Rehabilitation department Vinod Kaul told PTI.
Although December 21 every year traditionally marks the onset of winter, the night temperature in most parts of the Kashmir Valley have fallen below freezing point as early as first week of November over the past several years now. Kaul said the rehabilitation of the flood-affected persons was a three-staged process with rescue and relief of people from flooded areas being the top priority.
"We are rescuing people and providing them relief like ration, bottled drinking water, medicines and vaccines," he said. The official said the second phase will involve providing shelter like tents and blankets and other material to ensure that the victims are able to sustain.
He said at present over 130 relief camps are operational in the state where the state government -- with the help of local volunteers, Army, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and Indian Air Force (IAF) -- is providing the material for the displaced people.
"It is a joint effort. No organisation can work in isolation and each organ of the system is functioning at optimum to provide succour to the victims," Kaul said, adding, the efforts put in by the local volunteers were nothing short of heroic.
Kaul, however, admitted that permanent rehabilitation of the flood victims will be an uphill task that will need a massive effort. Given the extreme weather conditions in various parts of the state, permanent rehabilitation of the victims will need to be expedited, he said.