Armed Forces to rescue all stranded people in Bihar within 2-3 days

September 2nd, 2008 - 6:46 pm ICT by ANI  

By Praful Kumar Singh

New Delhi, Sep 2 (ANI): The Armed Forces are confident that they will be able to rescue all people stranded in remote locations of flood hit areas of Bihar within two to three days or earlier.

Over three lakh people are still marooned in remote locations of Bihar. The floods have affected over 2.5 million people in 1,598 villages spread over 15 districts of the state.

The Army has carried out massive rescue and relief operations in the flood affected districts of Bihar and a large number of marooned people have been evacuated to safer places. About 20,000 to 25,000 people are being evacuated daily, said Colonel Raj Shukla, who is in charge of coordinating the relief operations.

The Army has so far deployed 37 columns for flood relief operations in the districts of Supaul (8 columns), Madhepura (9 columns), Araria (8 columns), Purnea (6 columns) and Katihar (6 columns).

Colonel Shukla informed that 37 medical teams have deployed at major relief camps. Army has also pressed into service 450 average size boats, 64 assault recce high-speed rubber boats and six helicopters to speed up the rescue and relief operations.

The situation in Bihar as of now remains grim but is under full control of the armed forces and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has thanked the services for restoring the confidence of people in civil administration, said Colonel AK Das.

The Indian Air Force has deployed IL-76, AN-32, Avro Aircraft and Mi-8 and Mi-17 helicopters in the rescue and relief operations.

The IL-76 has so far evacuated 1360 people and airlifted 290 tonnes of relief materials in 37 sorties. The AN-32 have evacuated 532 people and airlifted 61 tonnes relief material in 102 sorties. Avro aircraft carried out 16 sorties evacuating 61 people and airlifting 9.5 tonnes of relief material, said Air Commodre GS Cheema.

The IAF helicopters have evacuated 176 marooned people in 350 sorties. They also airlifted 325 tonnes of relief material, he added.

The Navy has sent 145 specialised divers and 24 boats in the rescue operation. These divers have been sent to Bihar from Vishakapatnam, Mumbai and Kochi.

More teams of the Army, the Air Force and the Navy are ready to move in as and when they are required by the State administration.

Meanwhile, Defence Minister AK Antony has complimented three services for their contribution and untiring effort in providing relief to people of Bihar.

Earlier, the Armed forces had donated two days of their rations for distribution to the people affected by devastating floods in Bihar, which amounts to nearly 12,000 tonnes of ration. (ANI)

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