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Biggest operations by defence forces

By R Dutta Choudhury
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GUWAHATI, Sept 15 � The massive rescue operations launched by the Army and the Air Force in flood-ravaged Jammu and Kashmir, has been one of the biggest ever such operations by the forces, while restoration of road communication will now be the biggest challenge before the forces.

Talking to The Assam Tribune, spokesman of the Ministry of Defence (Northern Command), Col Santanu Dev Goswami said that so far more than 1.84 lakh marooned people have been rescued by Army, Air Force and NDRF personnel. However, he said no Army personnel was pulled out of the border with Pakistan for the rescue operations as, �we cannot take any chance and leave any part of the border unguarded.� Armymen were brought in from different parts of the country and more than 30,000 personnel have been pressed into service.

Giving details of the rescue operations, Col Goswami said that as many as 84 aircraft including transport aircraft and choppers of the Air Force and Aviation Corps of the Army have been pressed into service and more than 2,250 sorties have been made so far. He revealed that the aircraft, which came to Srinagar with relief materials, carried the stranded people in the return flights.

Col Goswami said more than 3,000 tonnes of relief materials, over three lakh bottles of water, about an equal number of food packets and 1,054 tonnes of cooked food were provided to the affected people of the flood-hit state. The IRCTC is also providing food packets and those were flown in from places like Patna, Delhi, Ahmedabad and Amritsar. More than 8,000 blankets and around 1,300 tents were also provided to the affected people.

The Defence spokesman said 80 medical teams of the Army have been pressed into service and six field hospitals set up. More than 51,000 people have been treated in the field hospitals so far.

Col Goswami admitted that providing safe drinking water to the affected people has turned into a major challenge as the possibility of outbreak of water-borne diseases cannot be ruled out. He said 13 tonnes of water purifying tablets, and water filter pumps with capacity to filter 1.20 lakh litres of water per day have been brought to Srinagar. More heavy duty pumps are being airlifted to Srinagar from Jodhpur and Raipur. Sewerage pumps have also been dispatched from Delhi.

The Defence spokesman pointed out that restoration of road communication would be a major challenge before the forces. He said more than 5,700 personnel of the Border Roads Organisation have been pressed into service and it is expected that connectivity would be restored within a week or so.

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Biggest operations by defence forces

GUWAHATI, Sept 15 � The massive rescue operations launched by the Army and the Air Force in flood-ravaged Jammu and Kashmir, has been one of the biggest ever such operations by the forces, while restoration of road communication will now be the biggest challenge before the forces.

Talking to The Assam Tribune, spokesman of the Ministry of Defence (Northern Command), Col Santanu Dev Goswami said that so far more than 1.84 lakh marooned people have been rescued by Army, Air Force and NDRF personnel. However, he said no Army personnel was pulled out of the border with Pakistan for the rescue operations as, �we cannot take any chance and leave any part of the border unguarded.� Armymen were brought in from different parts of the country and more than 30,000 personnel have been pressed into service.

Giving details of the rescue operations, Col Goswami said that as many as 84 aircraft including transport aircraft and choppers of the Air Force and Aviation Corps of the Army have been pressed into service and more than 2,250 sorties have been made so far. He revealed that the aircraft, which came to Srinagar with relief materials, carried the stranded people in the return flights.

Col Goswami said more than 3,000 tonnes of relief materials, over three lakh bottles of water, about an equal number of food packets and 1,054 tonnes of cooked food were provided to the affected people of the flood-hit state. The IRCTC is also providing food packets and those were flown in from places like Patna, Delhi, Ahmedabad and Amritsar. More than 8,000 blankets and around 1,300 tents were also provided to the affected people.

The Defence spokesman said 80 medical teams of the Army have been pressed into service and six field hospitals set up. More than 51,000 people have been treated in the field hospitals so far.

Col Goswami admitted that providing safe drinking water to the affected people has turned into a major challenge as the possibility of outbreak of water-borne diseases cannot be ruled out. He said 13 tonnes of water purifying tablets, and water filter pumps with capacity to filter 1.20 lakh litres of water per day have been brought to Srinagar. More heavy duty pumps are being airlifted to Srinagar from Jodhpur and Raipur. Sewerage pumps have also been dispatched from Delhi.

The Defence spokesman pointed out that restoration of road communication would be a major challenge before the forces. He said more than 5,700 personnel of the Border Roads Organisation have been pressed into service and it is expected that connectivity would be restored within a week or so.