Our defense forces at Utterakhand

p2In this time of crisis, we need to focus on the heroic efforts of our defense forces engaged in the massive relief operation in Utterakhand. Our media, instead of covering inept politicians, corrupt and lethargic bureaucrats, should concentrate on the positive aspects of this tragedy and give maximum coverage to the exemplary efforts of our defense forces.

Here is a glimpse of the massive rescue operation launched by our defense forces.

Launching one of the biggest rescue operations in Uttarakhand, the Army has mobilized large number of troops, as it simultaneously reached out to thousands of stranded people in four regions — Rishikesh-Uttarkashi-Harsil-Gangotri; Rudraprayag-Kedarnath; Joshimath-Badrinath and Dharchula-Tawaghat in Pithoragarh district.

Dozens of helicopters and thousands of soldiers have been deployed to help those trapped across the state, including many residents whose houses have been damaged.

Rescue and relief operations encompass sorties by choppers, mobilization of resources, evacuation to relief camps, moving people from relief camps to base areas, search operation to locate and rescue the missing, and rebuilding the battered areas and infrastructure.

Besides the Army, Indian Air-force, Indian Navy, Sashastra Seema Bal, the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and the National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) are using their specialized skills to make new routes through the hills and rescuing people on foot.

The IAF continues to be the lifeline between those stranded in the upper ridges and the world down below. Apart from flying out the old, infirm, children and women as top priority, the force is carrying food, medical and fuel supplies to the forward helipads where many of the helicopters are doing quick shuttles. Air-force has transported a 25-bed hospital using our C-130J aircraft there in Dharasu which can treat over 100 people per day and can run without backup for seven days. It has also employed an Antonov-32 aircraft to deliver engineering equipment of Border Roads Organisation to the nearest air field from where it would be airlifted by Mi-26, the world’s largest helicopter, to help the road constructing body to repair roads.

Joining the relief operations, the Navy has also deployed around 45 of its divers for rescuing people.

Border Roads Organisation (BRO) has mounted a road rehabilitation program in Uttarakhand where a total of about 13 km length of road at 100 places has been breached. Major landslides have occurred at 110 places and nine bridges have either been washed away or damaged. BRO is also airlifting light bridges for Badrinath and Kedarnath to bridge gaps and establish early connectivity.

NDRF personnel, who have been heli-dropped at various remote locations, have rescued thousands of people and recovered many dead bodies.

Kudos to our Jawans for their heroic efforts and tireless work. The entire country is grateful to them.

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