Rescue team saves cow stuck on River Alaknanda’s bank in 1-hour operation
A cow stuck along the River Alaknanda in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district was saved by the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) in an hour-long operation on Monday evening.
The SDRF team managed to save the bovine, which had strayed along the river in Gauchar of Karanprayag tehsil, just with the help of ropes. Rescuers said the animal drifted in the river a few kilometres near the upstream in the incident reported at 4.30pm.
“The operation lasted for an hour. Our divers swam across the river, tied the animal with ropes and then dragged it towards the side,” Ravindra Singh, SDRF sub-inspector at Jolly Grant, said on Tuesday.
It’s not the first time that the force, which conducts emergency operations mainly during natural disasters, accidents and others, has rescued trapped animals.
The force has successfully completed nearly 14 operations in which it has rescued animals. The biggest rescue operation was in Pauri in which seven cows were rescued from River Alaknanda in Kaljikhal block.
It saved a calf, which fell into a gutter in state capital Dehradun, in December last year. In August, when heavy rains lashed the hill state, a team of SDRF pulled out a horse from the overflowing Ganga in Uttarkashi.
A buffalo was also rescued in Dunda block in the same month. In Munsiyari, Pithoragarh the SDRF team rescued a cow was stuck along a river below the mountains after a four-hour operation.
“SDRF’s mandate is to protect lives. And so, we do not differentiate between the life of a human or animal,” SDRF inspector general Sanjay Gunjyal said.
“Of late, we have started receiving calls from locals informing about animals that are stuck along rivers or gauge. We use our expertise to save them,” Gunjyal said.
Uttarakhand SDRF was constituted under section 48 (1) (a) of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, in 2013 and started working from February 2014 post training of personnel.
SDRF has successfully completed over 660 rescue operations, saving the lives of over 4,000 people and recovered 649 dead bodies, excluding the Char Dham rescue operation.
Apart from supporting religious fairs like Char Dham, Kanwar and Kailash Mansarovar Yatra, the high-altitude team of the force has rescued thousands of tourists and locals stuck in landslides and avalanches.