Kashmir Floods
Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Jammu and Kashmir over the weekend to survey the impact of the worst flood to hit the state in six decadesReuters

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday asked the authorities to give top priority to providing food and water to the flood-affected people of Jammu and Kashmir and called for a massive effort to ensure basic hygiene and sanitation in the water-logged areas of Srinagar.

At a high-level emergency meeting on relief operations in the state, Modi was briefed on the status of operations, especially in Srinagar and the Kashmir Valley, said a statement from the Prime Minister Office (PMO).

"The prime minister categorically emphasised that immediate attention be given to providing basic necessities like food and water to people severely affected by the calamity.

"The prime minister directed that top priority be given to provision of essential commodities to affected people in Srinagar town," the statement said.

Modi also directed the home ministry to immediately depute senior officers from Delhi and other states to coordinate the relief operations with the local administration in Srinagar.

He emphasised the need for a massive effort to ensure basic hygiene and sanitation in the water-logged areas of Srinagar.

The toll in the worst floods in Jammu and Kashmir in the last six decades Wednesday reached 215.

Modi was informed that the process of restoration of telecommunication links has begun, with about 8,000 landlines being activated in Srinagar.

Mobile phone services have also been partially restored through service provider Aircel.

Modi said that in view of the huge magnitude of the calamity, the central government needs to provide full support to the state administration, to comprehensively ramp-up the rescue and relief operations.

Around 77,000 people have been rescued so far by the armed forces and the National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF).

Arrangements are being made for provision of food, water and essential medicines, the PMO said.

Modi also called for coordinating the relief efforts of voluntary organisations as well.

The meeting was attended by Minister of State in the PMO Jitendra Singh and several senior officials.