Death toll is 17, says govt

JAMMU: The untimely snowfall in Jammu and Kashmir claimed 17 lives and left nearly 2,000 houses damaged in Kashmir division, a high-level review meeting chaired by Chief Minister Omar Abdullah was informed Thursday.
The meeting, convened to brief the Chief Minister about the situation following the recent heavy snowfall in state, was also told that 57 cattle perished in the calamity, a government spokesman said.
The Chief Minister directed officials to arrange helicopter sorties to evacuate people from snow-bound areas.
Omar was informed that 80 to 90 per cent power supply had been restored in most of the areas, barring a few where severe damage had been caused to the installations.
Transmission towers in Budgam, Shopian, Anantnag and other areas had received major damage and work was on to restore them.
The Chief Minister was told that the power supply to various public service installations had been almost restored.
Officials informed the CM that snow had been cleared from all major roads and work was on for clearing other roads.
Clearance of landslides and snow on the national highway was on in full swing.
Omar enquired about the dewatering operation in Srinagar city and around. He said since the fast-melting snow would add to the problem, all resources needed to be mobilised for it.
The Chief Minister was told that 175 water supply schemes in Jammu and 43 in Kashmir were affected. However, most of these had been restored.
Officials told him that most of the areas hit by snow had adequate stock of essential commodities.
He directed them to keep a close eye on the markets so that unscrupulous elements did not exploit the situation and create artificial scarcity of essentials goods.—PTI

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