Thursday, September 23, 2010

Bengal Sappers rescue 1,200 in 3 days

Roorkee, September 22. Personnel of the Bengal Sappers provide medical aid to an old woman; and (right) pass through a sugarcane field in their boat to rescue marooned villagers near Laksar on Wednesday. Photos: Navreet Milton

The havoc created by the Solani river in parts of Uttarakhand in the past few days due to incessant rain has forced the civil administration to requisition the services of the army to undertake rescue and relief operations on a war footing.

The Bengal Sappers in Roorkee have been providing succour to marooned villagers for the past 72 hours in Laskar and nearby villages of Jogawali, Dabkikhera, Dhadeki, Hastmoli, Mathani and Monawala. Laksar in Haridwar district has been badly hit this monsoon. Jogawali village, known for revenue generation through its rice and sugarcane crops, is one of the worst affected villages.

Columns of the Bengal Sappers have rescued marooned villagers and provided them with food and medical aid.

The fact that the submerged areas are crocodile infested made it difficult for the villagers to wade through the water to safer areas. It was a relief for them when army rescue boats arrived with rations and medicines.

Food packets have been provided by the civil administration while medical relief is being administered by army doctors.

There were many villages which could not be accessed initially by rescue teams. It was only after persistent efforts of two rescue teams comprising four Sapper officers, two medical officers, eight JCOs and 100 jawans of the Bengal Engineer Group that the teams could navigate their way in dangerous crocodile and snake-infested flood waters and reach the marooned villages.

It is now three days that army rescue teams from Roorkee have been engaged in rescue operations.

They have evacuated 1,200 persons from 15 to 18 villages and administered medical aid to almost 750 victims.

The army has also distributed 7,600 food packets to flood victims. An army doctor said that most cases were of fever, diarrhoea and severe dehydration.

Dabkikhera village, which had a habitation of 250 houses, has been wiped out by floods. Though most rescued animals have been provided shelter in buildings, their survival is in doubt as no fodder is available. Uttarakhand has seen such devastation due to floods after 32 years.
Bengal Sappers rescue 1,200 in 3 days Tribune News Service

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