Conceding that the magnitude of the task of relief has just started emerging, foreign secretary, S Jaishankar said that India is stepping its efforts but could not give an idea of how much time the relief and rescue (RR) work would take.
With Tribhuvan Airport in Kathmandu undergoing operational difficulties because of the sheer magnitude of rescue and relief task, India has opened 15 border outposts along the Indo-Nepal border, manned by the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), as exit routes to evacuate stranded people.Conceding that the magnitude of the task of relief has just started emerging, foreign secretary, S Jaishankar said that India is stepping its efforts but could not give an idea of how much time the relief and rescue (RR) work would take.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Being well connected with Nepal via road links across the states of Bihar, Sikkim, West Bengal, UP and Uttarakhand, India is now putting a lot of emphasis on evacuating stranded people through roads and also for sending rescue and relief materials and men.Of these Raxaul in Bihar and Sanauli in Uttar Pradesh have become major exit points from Nepal. As per SSB records, nearby 8000 stranded people, mostly Indians, had entered into India via Raxaul border. Over 500 stranded people entered into India via Sanauli on Monday.Besides, India has managed to evacuate nearly 4,800 stranded people via air route. India sought to increase the effort.“We have moved a company (about 120 personnel) each from all our 29 battalions to assist in rescue and relief operations at the border. Besides an Inspector General, 2 DIGs coordinating RR work, Commandant in-charge of all the battalions have been put on this job all along the border,” director general of SSB, B D Sharma told dna.He said, “At Raxual outpost, we provided food and medical care to 5067 people since last night, 13 seriously injured patients were moved to hospitals. To help rescue the foreigners, home ministry has specifically told us to assist them and give visa on gratis to enter India without any discrimination.” The SSB is also facilitating movement of buses from India to Nepal to send rescue and relief workers and medical and food material. It has also pulled out 38 vehicles, including trucks, ambulances, buses and water tankers from its own stock for assisting the national disaster response force (NDRF) that are already in Kathmandu and Pokhra.The defense ministry also stepped up its efforts by putting Monday’s target to send in four C-17s Globe master planes, three C – 130 Super Hercules, 3 IL-76 and 2 AN-32. Besides, it has also pushed in 8 helicopters in service for evacuation in the outskirts of Kathmandu and Pokhra.“Four more choppers are on their way and six have been kept on standby. They have rescued 337 people who have been admitted to the military hospitals,” defense secretary R K Mathur said.With time slipping out of hand, the Indian Army is planning to push its Gorkha ex-servicemen for speed up evacuation and rescue efforts.“As they are well versed with the area, topography and adept climbers we are looking into the possibility of pressing them into for RR work as soon as possible,” the defence secretary said.Ensuring that nothing would act as an impediment in providing succor to Nepal, union home secretary L C Goyal said that he would see that no rule debars NGOs from reaching out to Nepal with relief material.
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