3 Sep :In all 37 Army Columns have been deployed for rescue and relief operations in the flood hit areas of Bihar till today. 11 helicopters have been deployed by Air Force and Army to drop food packets and provide logistic support. A total of 596 boats have been deployed and another 88 boats are expected to reach by tomorrow.
A High Level Central Team headed by Cabinet Secretary and comprising of Defence Secretary as well as other senior officers of the Government of India visited Bihar yesterday. The team discussed with the Chief Minister about requirements of relief operations. The Team also reviewed the dropping of food packets by the Air Force personnel, evacuation of marooned persons by the different organizations and by the Army Columns.
Three water purifying equipment having capacity of 6000 liters per day have been sent. The Ministry of Steel will supply 10 lakh GI sheets for construction of relief camps. Ministry of Home Affairs is in constant touch with the State Government and closely monitoring the situation round the clock.
Lalu appeals to Nation for Liberal Contibution of Relief Material for Bihar
In view of recent unprecedented flood in North Bihar which has caused severe loss of human life, property and livestock and has rendered lakhs of people homeless, the Minister of Railways, Shri Lalu Prasad has made an appeal to the nation to make liberal contributions of relief material for the victims of this national calamity. To facilitate prompt transportation of the relief material, Indian Railways have made the following arrangements:-
Relief material (including food, clothing, tentage, fodder etc.) booked in favour of the District Magistrates of Purnea, Saharsa and Kathihar will be transported “free of charge” by the Indian Railways.
Control Rooms are functional at the Railway Board and at all zonal and divisional headquarters of Indian Railways and these can be contacted for any assistance in transportation of relief material.
All Airlines Directed to help in Relief Operations in Bihar
In view of the unprecedented floods in Bihar, a large amount of relief material and essential supplies are required to be transported to Patna. The Ministry of Civil Aviation directed the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to convene a meeting of domestic airlines and ask them to provide necessary help and cooperation in transportation of essential supplies.
The DGCA convened a meeting of all scheduled airlines on 2 September, 2008 with regard to air transportation of relief material to Patna. Representatives from Air India, Alliance Air, Jet Airways & JetLite, Deccan Aviation Ltd., Spicejet, IndiGo and MDLR Airlines attended the meeting. Representative of the Government of Bihar was also present.
The Director General has directed the airlines to cooperate in the shipment of relief material to Patna. He also impressed upon the airlines to consider discounting the freight rates for transportation of relief material like food items, medicines, clothings from voluntary organizations and NGOs, etc. It was emphasized that airlines at present engaged in transportation of relief items should consider the same routed through Resident Commissioner’s officer, Government of Bihar on priority. Airlines have also been asked to advise their station in-charges at Patna to be in touch with representatives of Bihar Government at Patna for quick transportation from airports. Airlines were advised that while transporting such shipments, they must ensure that existing practices like security drill, handling of dangerous goods, etc. are followed. Airlines were also informed that in case they are making unscheduled landings at Patna for relief operations, they will be accorded necessary clearance promptly.
Contact numbers of the airlines representatives have been given to the representative of Resident Commissioner’s office, Government of Bihar for coordination purpose.