Flood in Kashmir again, Modi govt. springs into action

Before Jammu and Kashmir could fully recover from the disastrous flood of September last year, the valley woke up to another nightmare due to the incessant rain, which has created havoc in the state.

The unseasonal heavy rain in the most part of Kashmir destroyed homes, crops and raised fears of flash- flood in the state. Hundreds of people fled their homes to safer places as the main rivers started to swell. People in the state witnessed continuous power cuts, water logging and landslides, bringing back the dreadful memory of the flood last year. The weather department has forecasted torrential rain in coming week.

According to the J & K government officials, water level of Jhelum River has passed the danger level at 22.4 feet and 18.8 feet at Sangam in South Kashmir and Ram Munshi Bah Srinagar city respectively. If the water level crosses 23-feet mark, state will have to undertake massive rescue operations to evacuate people stranded in areas adjoining the river.

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Oceanic Diplomacy: High stakes in Modi’s Indian Ocean yatra

Amid the unfolding great game in the Indian Ocean and China’s increased assertiveness in the region, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi heads on a three-nation diplomatic odyssey to key littoral states, including Seychelles, Mauritius and Sri Lanka.

It’s a first of sorts as the Indian prime minister travels to three oceanic neighbours which are bound to India by history, shared culture and extensive defence ties.

Maritime security will be the overarching theme of Mr Modi’s three-nation visit as he seeks to bolster maritime cooperation with the three countries, which are crucial in India’s strategic scheme to secure sea lanes of communication (SLOC) in the Indian Ocean against attacks by pirates and terrorists.

The prime minister’s outreach to the country’s Indian Ocean neighbours will be closely watched in the region. Beijing will be specially watching the outcomes emerging from these summit meetings as it has relentlessly expanded its economic ties and influence in the Indian Ocean littoral countries New Delhi thinks to be falling in its sphere of influence.

But as Indian diplomats point out, India is not in a containment game, but is only looking to project the Indian Ocean as zone of peace and an ocean of opportunity through a closer web of economic and transport connectivity projects.

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