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HindustanTimes Mon,22 Sep 2014

Army also doing its bit for flood-hit mules and ponies

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Lucknow, June 26, 2013
First Published: 09:08 IST(26/6/2013) | Last Updated: 09:12 IST(26/6/2013)

Continuing their selfless service in the flood-hit areas of Uttarakhand, the Army came to the rescue of ponies and mules stranded on Hemkund axis on Tuesday. This was in addition to the routine evacuation of stranded people in Badrinath and Harsil regions.

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Army pressed one veterinary doctor into service and two paramedics to render medical aid to the animals affected by the floods. Efforts are underway to provide similar assistance to agencies responsible for animal care in Gauri Kund.

Besides, Army aviation helicopters carried out sorties both in Badrinath and Kedarnath valleys. In the Harsil sector, 253 people were evacuated by 24 helicopter sorties. Approximately 1,000 people are awaiting evacuation at Harsil. In Bardrinath sector, evacuation by air and a combination of foot and vehicle continued on Tuesday with 740 people reaching Joshimath by evening. As many as 260 people crossed Alakhnanda at Lambagar using helicopter bridge and Burma bridge.

In order to speed up evacuation, Army engineers commenced construction of steel foot bridge across Alaknanda at Lambagar in Badrinath Valley. Once completed, evacuation by foot would be rapid, said a Ministry of Defence press communiqué.

Lt Gen Anil Chait, general officer commanding in chief (GOC-in-C), Central Command on Tuesday addressed evacuees at Harsil and Joshimath. “Army is only serving the people and the nation in the hour of the need,” he said. Interacting with the Army Commander via video link, evacuees were all praise for the service rendered by the Army in Uttarakhand.

Besides, two Army psychiatrists were deployed at Joshimath to provide professional counselling to people awaiting evacuation. Army special troops also carried out extensive search operations in Jungle Chatti. No one was found stranded anywhere between Gauri Kund and Ram Bara. Search will continue depending upon requirement.

“Army today evacuated 92 people from Sobala Valley of Dharchula in Pithoragarh district. Tejam and its surrounding villages were cut off following floods. Army earlier relocated people from low lying areas to higher reaches in Dharchula,” the communiqué said.


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