NEW DELHI: The Centre decided to rush 600 additional emergency responders to Tamil Nadu for rescue and relief operations. The decision taken was during the National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) meeting chaired by Cabinet Secretary P K Sinha with top Central Government officials to review the situation in the flood-ravaged state.
Meanwhile, the Ministries of Railways and Civil Aviation have been asked to coordinate with the state government for safe and quick evacuation of stranded passengers.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi held two meetings with senior Cabinet ministers and directed them to provide necessary assistance to the state government.
Home Ministry officials said 15 NDRF teams are already deployed in Tamil Nadu for rescue operations but after reviewing the flood situation in the state, government decided to move seven more teams - Three from Bhubaneswar and four from Delhi for deployment in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.
Tamil Nadu government had put forward the need for motorised boats which is being rushed by the Centre.
According to officials, TN Chief Secretary who participated in the meeting through video conferencing said that state machinery have adequate arrangements and mechanisms to deal with requirements of drinking water, food, medicines, etc.
He also said that the state government has mobilised a large number of fishermen boats for which services of personnel from Navy and Coast Guard would be required.
Cabinet Secretary Sinha told the Ministry of Defence to make suitable arrangements to provide personnel for rescue and relief operations. "Four columns of Army are already deployed and another three columns would move from Bangalore on Wednesday evening. Indian Air Force has already deployed two MI-17 choppers at Tambaram and two MI-17 are being moved from Tirupati to Chennai for relief and rescue operations.
Five Chetak Helicopters are also operating from Tambaram. In addition, four MI-17's, two at Bangalore and two at Nagpur are on standby," a Home Ministry Spokesperson said.
As Chennai Airport is flooded and is not operational so far, it was decided that air fields of Arakkonam, Tirupati, Tambaram and Trichy be utilised for rescue and relief operations.
Ministries of Railways and Civil Aviation were asked to coordinate with the State Government for safe and quick evacuation of stranded passengers.
Department of Telecom has been asked to rectify the damaged telecom towers at the earliest."In view of the IMD forecast that the rains may continue in South Indian coast for 3-4 days, departments and ministries concerned with emergency response were instructed to be in state of total readiness and be in constant touch with the state government for any such assistance required," he said.