VIJAYAWADA: With the Krishna Pushkarams just around the corner, the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) 10th battalion in Mangalagiri is gearing up to extend any needed medical care for pilgrims near the bathing ghats in Krishna, Guntur and Kurnool districts during the festival.
The service of NDRF forces was specially requisitioned by the State government in the wake of the stampede that killed 29 people on the first day of the 12-day Godavari Pushkaralu at Rajamahendravaram last year.
Five teams of the NDRF 10th battalion will be deployed on special duty at four places along the Krishna river where huge crowds are expected to visit. Three teams will be deployed at Vijayawada, and one each at Guntur and Srisailam. Each team consists of 45 personnel, including officers and medical staff which will be led by deputy commandants and assistant commandants.
A 90-member team of the NDRF’s 10th battalion have been stationed near the major bathing ghats in Krishna-Guntur districts on Tuesday. The NDRF troops, along with Special Protection Force (SPF) performed trials near Durga Ghat and upstream of Prakasam Barrage how to rescue people from the waters during the different situations. They also created awareness on the safety measures to be followed during emergency, including untoward incidents during the river fete.
Speaking to Express on Tuesday, NDRF 10th battalion Commandant, Prashant Dhar said more personnel will be on standby and ready to move to Sangamam, Muktyala and Vedadri ghats which have been identified as the important ones if needed. “We are expecting huge turnout of pilgrims near the Durga Ghat on the first day of pushkarams. Our men will keep a close watch on the ghat,” he said.
The NDRF troops also established ten medical posts in the Krishna river near Sitanagaram to provide medical assistance for the pilgrims near the bathing ghats. As many as 40 staff will be deployed for the purpose. Five medical staff including deep divers will be deployed near each medical post during the 12-day river festival. “But given the possible needs, the medical first responders would be mainly required in case of emergencies,” Dhar said.