With incessant rains over the last two days hampering relief operations in Uttarakhand, the state government on Sunday geared up to requisition choppers which can be flown even in bad weather to take food supplies to affected areas in Rudraprayag, Uttarkashi and Chamoli districts.
As the network of major roads in these districts are still damaged making it impossible for the administration to transport trucks carrying relief material to affected villages especially the ones totally cut off, weather resistant choppers are the only option left for the authorities to ensure food supplies to villages facing foodgrain shortage, an official said.
The state Disaster Management and Mitigation Department will hold an emergency meeting today to discuss how choppers capable of flying even in bad weather can be pressed into service.
The team of experts dispatched to Kedarghati for removal of debris and disposal of bodies is also finding it difficult to carry out the exercise due to wet weather and lack of heavy equipment, official sources here said.
The lightweight equipment provided by the NDRF is proving inadequate to remove tonnes of debris in Kedarghati under which bodies may still be lying, they said.
Paucity of foodstuff for personnel engaged in the exercise at the high altitude shrine has further complicated their task, they said. The food stocks at the Himalayan shrine are fast running out and some of the personnel engaged in the operation are also reported to be sick.
A 13-member police team trying to tear its way through heaps of debris lying on the roads to Kedarnath had to return from Rambada to Gaurikund as it could not go further.
Fresh spell of rains in Kedarghati over the past two days have instilled fear among residents of villages adjoining the shrine with waters of Mandakini and Alaknanda constantly on the rise.