VELLORE: A team of 86 personnel along with two doctors attached to the Arakkonam Battalion of the National Disaster Response Force ([NDRF) are continuing their search-cum-rescue operations in flood-hit Jammu and Kashmir, where over 7 lakh people are stranded.
The NDRF, Arakkonam team (04 BN) joined the rescue operations in the early hours of September 9 after being airlifted from INS Rajali. “Two doctors — Dr M V Chaithanya and Dr Bhagwan Reddy — were also flown along with the team headed by Deputy Commander S Andrew,” Commandant of 04 BN of NDRF, Arakkonam, M K Verma told Express.
The team carried 24 inflatable boats with out-boat engines, life jackets, diving sets, inflatable tower lights, generators and medicine in the G 17 aircraft. Two teams have been engaged in rescue operations in Nehru Park and Manaswal in Srinagar, while the third team is stationed in Raj Bhavan as a standby.
“The NDRF Arakkonam team, along with 19 other teams, each having around 45 personnel, from Bhatinda, Patna, Delhi and Pune, have rescued a total of 31,700 people till 3.30 pm on Thursday,” Inspector General of NDRF, Delhi, Sandeep Rai Rathore told Express.
Seventeen teams have been deployed for rescue operations in Srinagar, which is the worst affected, while the other five teams have been engaged in Jammu and Awanthipur respectively, for rescue operations. “A total of 148 boats have been used for the search-cum-rescue operations. We are facing difficulties as the State government is not in a position to extend its full support to the rescue operations,” the officer added.
The premises of Secretariat and Administration of the State government in Srinagar have been inundated. The network is down and police are not in full strength, which is making rescue operations even more difficult. However, the NDRF is managing with its resources. “We have supplied 5 tonnes of food and water to people stranded in the flood. The doctors along with the rescue teams are providing medical first response to the injured and shifting them to hospitals,” he further said.
Sandeep Rai Rathore said the teams will remain in J&K for the next 10 days or more, to help the State to restore normalcy.