Army, ITBP, DRDO teams rushed to Chamoli | India News – Times of India


NEW DELHI: The government on Sunday deployed a column of the Army’s engineering task force and 200 personnel from the ITBP in Chamoli’s glacier burst site for relief and rescue while a team from DRDO, monitoring avalanches, was being flown in for surveillance and reconnaissance.
“Around 12 people trapped in a tunnel have been rescued by the ITBP; while efforts are on to rescue others trapped in another tunnel, which is being coordinated by the Army and the ITBP. All out efforts are being made to ensure that all missing people are traced and accounted for,” a home ministry statement said.
The armed forces swung into action with over 1,000 personnel, including medical teams, engineering task forces, divers, helicopters and aircraft, to help in the rescue operations.
The flash floods washed away a bridge constructed by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) on the Malari axis, which provides crucial access to the Line of Actual Control with China. BRO director general Lt-Gen Rajeev Chaudhary has directed his officials to reconstruct the bridge as soon as possible by moving personnel and supplies to the area. “Some areas are cut off due to the bridge being washed away,” an officer said.
“Two Cheetah helicopters of Army aviation are conducting aerial reconnaissance and other missions in the area. A control room has been established at Joshimath. A field hospital is also ready to receive casualties,” the officer added.
The IAF has deployed two C-130J ‘Super Hercules’ aircraft and an AN-32 medium-lift plane as well as Mi-17 and Dhruv advanced light helicopters to airlift over 15 tonne emergency supplies and equipment as well as NDRF personnel to the Jolly Grant airport near Dehradun and other areas. The Navy has also kept over 50 marine commandos, including divers, on standby for rescue operations. Five teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) too were flown in from Hindon Air Force base, it added.
The National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) headed by cabinet secretary Rajiv Gauba met here on Sunday and reviewed the situation arising out of the disaster in Chamoli’s Reni village with hundreds feared killed in the glacial burst. A statement issued by the NCMC said the glacial burst washed away the Rishiganga small hydro project of 13.2 mw.
“The flash flood also affected the downstream hydro project of NTPC at Tapovan on the river Dhauliganga, which is a tributary of the river Alaknanda,” it added. NTPC’s MD has been asked to reach the affected site immediately.
The NCMC, however, said there was no danger of downstream flooding and the rise in water level had been contained. There was also no threat to neighbouring villages. There is no rainfall warning in the region for the next two days. The cabinet secretary also directed the agencies concerned to work in close coordination and extend all assistance to the state administration.

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