Kerala govt pays tribute to armed forces for relief and rescue work during floods
The Kerala government on Sunday organised a thanksgiving ceremony for various defence forces who helped in relief and rescue operations during the recent unprecedented floods in the state.
Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan handed over to commemorative plaques, saying “Thank You”, to senior officials of the army, navy and the air force.
“We could directly witness the bold initiatives they took to rescue those who were stranded in the flood waters. I also appreciate the military and paramilitary forces, who saved the helpless, braving adverse circumstances. All that we can say is that your services will be kept in mind in the times to come too, with gratitude and appreciation,” Vijayan said at the ceremony.
Defence forces were involved in several daring rescue acts such as the air-lifting of a pregnant woman and winching up of a two-year-old which won them widespread appreciation. They also contributed to relief efforts, including shipping material and providing medical assistance to the displaced people. Vijayan had on Wednesday announced the government would host a farewell to express its love and gratitude at their contribution to helping the state’s people.
The Indian navy had on Wednesday called off its 14-day long Operation Madad during which it had evacuated 16,005 people.
Besides the navy, personnel of the Army, the Air Force and Coast Guard were also involved in the rescue and relief operations along with the civil administration, the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and volunteers, including fishermen.
However, armed forces personnel would continue to support the state authorities in flood hit areas in relief and rehabilitation initiatives, a defence spokesperson said on Sunday.
As on date, a total of 10 columns and 12 Engineer Task Forces of the army are carrying out continuous rescue and relief operations, being involved in road opening, clearing of landslides and construction of temporary bridges, utilising the natural resources available in the area, a defence press release said.
So far approximately 26 temporary bridges have been constructed, repaired and approximately 50 roads have been cleared for the general public, it said.
Defence personnel have also retrieved and buried at least 3.64 lakh carcasses of birds and over 17,000 of big animals, it added.
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