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Uttarakhand floods: Helipads being built to speed up rescue operations

IANS
Jun 22, 2013 at 07:30am IST

With thousands of people still stranded in the mountainous state of Uttarakhand, the rescue teams are focusing on evacuating people stuck in the jungles between Kedarnath and Gaurikund and more helipads were being built, said ITBP chief Ajay Chadha Friday.

Addressing a press conference, Chadha said the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and the National Disaster Response Force teams were trying to set up a small helipad in Rambada, near Kedarnath, to enable choppers to land and evacuate people.

"We are trying to evacuate people and trying to create a helipad to help people stuck in the jungles in Kedarnath and Gaurikund," Chadha said at a press conference.

Uttarakhand floods: Helipads being built to speed up rescue operations

With thousands of people still stranded in the mountainous state of Uttarakhand, the rescue teams are focusing on evacuating people stuck in the jungles between Kedarnath and Gaurikund and more helipads were being built, said ITBP chief Ajay Chadha Friday.

The rescue teams were trying to create more roads to evacuate people as roads have been washed away, he added.

Asked if the authorities were trying to press in more choppers to evacuate people, Chadha said the helipads being used were small and it was difficult for more than one or two choppers to land at a time.

He said the army authorities are trying to create a big helipad at Gaurikund to enable the big MI-17 choppers to land.

He termed the rescue operations, which have picked up with the weather clearing, as "satisfactory".

Chadha visited Uttarakhand along with senior home ministry officials on Wednesday.

According to Uttarakhand Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna, around 556 bodies have been recovered and around 60,000 are stranded in the hill state that was hit by torrential rains, flash floods and cloud bursts over the weekend.

Helpline number for pilgrims in Uttarakhand are 0135-2710334/335/223

Army medical emergency helpline numbers -18001805558,18004190282,8009833388

ITBP HELPLINE numbers: 01124362892, 9968383478

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