Defence forces continue to provide relief and rescue to flood-hit Bihar

September 3rd, 2008 - 9:42 pm ICT by ANI  

Manmohan Singh

New Delhi , Sept 3 (ANI): The three wings of defence services the Army, Navy and Air Force get together for relief and rescue operations in Bihar .

They have stepped up efforts to rescue hundreds of thousands of people marooned by floods.

Addressing a news conference in New Delhi Air Commodore G.S. Cheema, Principal Director of Transport and Helicopter Operations said the Air Force is involved in lifting boats carrying marooned villagers from remote areas.

Air Force on its part has continued to air lift various columns like number of Army columns. Fresh number of boats has been pumped in. As brought out we have lifted 52 boats on Tuesday and apart from Army boat this includes National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) boats, Border Security Force boats and in addition naval boats, Cheema said.

According to reports, Army has so far deployed 37 columns for flood relief operations in the districts of Supaul (eight columns), Madhepura (nine columns), Araria (eight columns), Purnea (six columns) and Katihar (six columns).

Navy Captain A.S. Rana who also addressed the conference said the navy would be sending 120 tonnes of ration to Bihar government.

We have moved on war footing on this aspect and a total of about 120 tonnes of ration is what navy will be providing to Bihar government. This ration is being put in ten kilograms bags containing flour, rice, pulses and some more stuff on which a family can sustain. They are being made in ten kilogram packets put in gunny bags and transported to Visakhapatnam , Rana said.

Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and Congress party chairperson Sonia Gandhi has announced 228 million dollars in aid for rescue and recovery efforts.

Whereas, Railways have taken several important measures for relief to the flood affected people of Bihar . Some more fresh measures taken are as follow, which were announced by Union Minister of Railways Lalu Prasad here today.

Relief materials for flood affected areas in Bihar are being transported by Railways. Relief material from any part of the country can be booked by various Non-Governmental Organisation (NGOs), trusts, organisations and government agencies including NDMA in favour of District Magistrates of Purnea, Saharsa and Katinhar which will be transported free of charge by the Railways.

Two rakes loaded with fodder have already been transported to the flood affect areas and third and fourth rakes will be loaded with fodder soon. Railways have already transported 40 parcel vans with tents, clothes, medicines and drinking water bottles for flood affected victims.

To arrange drinking water for flood victims, Railways have arranged two rakes loaded with water tankers available at Barauni and Danappur stations and will be immediately transported to the flood affected areas as and when instructed.

Railways are running special trains to evacuate flood victims to safer places free of charge. Till now three lakh 65 thousand flood victims have been evacuated to safer places by 180 trains and around 40 to 50 thousand people are being evacuated to safer places on everyday.

Relief camps to distribute free food and medicine to flood victims, have been set up at Raghopur, Bannakhi, Supaul, Saharasa, Baijnathpur, Purnea, Jogbani bathnaha, Farbisgunj, Sinraha, Araria, Patna and Rajendernagar stations with the help of the prize money of Rs one crore won by Lalu Prasad in a TV show. So far, one lakh flood victims have been served with free food and 15 thousand victims with free medicines.

Three million people have been displaced from their homes and at least 90 killed by floods in Bihar, officials say, after the Kosi river burst a dam in Nepal , swamping hundreds of villages in Bihar and destroying more than 100,000 hectares (247,000 acres) of farmlands.

Over 467,000 people have been evacuated so far. (ANI)

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