Madhya Pradesh floods: MP home minister airlifted from disaster-hit village in Datia
Madhya Pradesh has been witnessing severe floods, which followed the incessant rains on Tuesday, for the past day and a half. More than 1,250 villages were affected by the inundation, said officials privy to the matter.
Madhya Pradesh home minister Narottam Mishra was rescued by a helicopter of the Indian Air Force (IAF) on Wednesday after the minister was stranded while visiting the district of Datia, reeling from floods triggered by heavy downpour a day before. According to news agency PTI, the state disaster response force (SDRF) boat carrying Mishra to the flood-hit Kotra village developed a "glitch" after a tree suddenly fell on it while trying to move out local residents.
Madhya Pradesh has been witnessing severe floods, which followed the incessant rains on Tuesday, for the past day and a half. More than 1,250 villages were affected by the inundation, said officials privy to the matter. Although more than 6,000 people have been evacuated by disaster management officials so far, nearly 2,000 people are still estimated to be stranded in different parts of the state. The Indian Army, the SDRF, the border security force (BSF), and the national disaster response force (NDRF) have all been deployed to lead the rescue and relief operations.
Madhya Pradesh home minister Narottam Mishra was visiting the marooned village of Kotra in Datia district on Wednesday evening when he experienced the rain fury himself. According to a government official, the minister received information about a few civilians stranded on the roof of a house in the flood-hit region and reached there on an SDRF boat. However, a tree suddenly fell on the boat following which it developed a snag and stopped moving, the official said.
Faced with a crisis, Mishra dialed up a few numbers and sent messages to government officials for help. An IAF helicopter was then rushed to the spot to rescue the minister and nine other stranded villagers. However, in videos that went viral on social media, Mishra could be seen first ensuring that all the stranded people had been rescued, only after which did he allow himself to be safely pulled up to the chopper with the help of a rope.
Meanwhile, calling the flood situation in Madhya Pradesh "grim", chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan pointed out that the districts worst hit by the floods are Sheopur, Datia, Gwalior, Guna, Bhind, and Morena. "Four columns of the Army, BSF, NDRF teams, and 70 teams of the SDRF have been deployed for the rescue work," the chief minister was quoted as saying. "More teams of the NDRF are coming...five helicopters of the Air Force, including four in Gwalior and one in Shivpuri, have also been pressed into the rescue operations."