All out efforts will be made to find out those who are still trapped in the debris and those who continue to be missing after the Uttarakhand rains and floods disaster, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said today.
Addressing a press conference after taking stock of the rescue and relief works here, Shinde said it was still not known how many people continued to be trapped under the debris following the rains fury.
"We have to find out how many are still trapped under the debris," he said, accompanied by Uttarakhand Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna, NDMA Vice Chairman M Sashidhar Reddy and other senior officials.
The Home Minister said many people continue to be stranded in Badrinath and some other locations and more helicopters will be deployed to rescue all those who have not been evacuated yet.
"The Air Force will deploy more MI-17 helicopters to evacuate all people in war footing. The helicopters fleet will be stationed in Uttarakhand for 15 more days," he said.
Shinde said priority will be given to rescue stranded women and those who are ill, aged, or disabled and subsequently others will be evacuated.
He assured all help for the relief and rehabilitation of the locals whose houses and livelihoods were washed away in the deluge.
The Home Minister said the Border Roads Organisation would make all out efforts for reopening of all disrupted road networks in the hill state and once the weather clears, the works will continue in 'war-footing'.
"LPG cylinders, Kerosene oil, food-grains and all other essential commodities will be made available for the locals," he said and requested the state government to provide a detailed list of requirements to the Centre.
The Home Minister said a team of Union Health Ministry officials has reached Uttarakhand to take stock of the health conditions of the people and steps would be taken to prevent break out of an epidemic in the state.
Shinde also said special emphasise will be given for implementing a comprehensive plan for tourism so that the places of tourists attraction and religious sites are protected from natural disaster in the future.
Admitting there was an initial lack of coordination among the agencies involved in rescue operations, Shinde said after June 21 the exercise has picked up momentum and praised the security personnel who rescued over one lakh pilgrims stranded across the state despite difficult weather conditions.