Over 1,00,000 flood victims were rescued in destructive floods, unprecedented in over six decades in Jammu and Kashmir by Army, Air Force and NDRF, while lakhs still remained stranded. Even the MARCOS of the Navy and the Border Roads had pitched in. The Army set up 18 relief camps across the flood zone. It also rescued a 28 member Pakistani golf team , the Ambassador of Nepal and 16 members of a Nepalese delegation from Srinagar. Whilst the rescuers from the armed forces and the NDRF are leading the relief and rescue operations , some of their own remained stranded. One of the heroic tales is that of Wing Commander Abhijit Bali, whose family was also the victim of the floods in which over 200 people have lost their lives. Bali came back to Srinagar to rescue his family and after that he walked and swam 20 kilometre back to the base. He not only rescued his family but a few of his neighbours too.
Eighty transport aircraft and helicopters of Indian Air Force and Army Aviation Corps were deployed with IAF itself flying over 930 sorties. Army deployed 329 columns of personnel (about 30,000 troops) for rescue and relief operations, in which 244 columns are deployed in Srinagar region and 85 columns in Jammu region. Armed Forces personnel are distributing water bottles and food packets on a large scale. So far 8,200 blankets and 650 tents, 2,10,000 litres of water, 2.6 tonnes of biscuits, 7 tonnes baby food and 31,000 food packets were airdropped and distributed in the flood affected areas.80 medical teams of the Armed Forces Medical Services operated in full swing. More relief materials including 2000 hospital bed sheets, blankets and tents, water bottles and cooked food were also airlifted.135 Army bauts (boat assault universal type) and 148 of NDRF’s inflatable boats are actively involved in the rescue operation.
To restore the road connectivity, five task forces of Border Roads Organisation, which include 5700 personnel, were pressed into service. They restored the road connectivity between Batote – Kishtwar and Kishtwar – Sinthan Pass. Work between Sinthan Pass and Anantnag is in progress and Jammu to KM 172 is open for light vehicular traffic. Jammu – Poonch road has been cleared for traffic.
The rescue and relief operation was continuously coordinated and monitored by HQ, Integrated Defence Staff in New Delhi. The Army Chief General Dalbir Singh, who visited Srinagar on 10 September assured that Army personnel will return to barracks only after all flood-victims were rescued. Ironically, during this operation the Army had to battle Pakistani Lashkar e Taiyyaba terrorists twice. Continuous rain and the anger of un-rescued people in some areas hampered rescue operations. In areas where water receded, the possibility of epidemic became a major worry. Cross border trade at Chakan-da-Bagh was suspended as the bridge connecting the two countries got washed away.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi directed the Home Ministry to send high-level teams of central officials to coordinate/follow-up relief operations. J&K government, reportedly came in for severe criticism for relief efforts being un-coordinated.