India intensifies “Operation Maitri”in Quake-Hit Nepal , Deploys Gorkha Soldiers In Rescue Job

29 April,New Delhi

India has enlarged its relief and rescue operations in quake-hit Nepal.

Defence Secretary R K Mathur said, Indian rescuers from the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and Air Force planes have begun reaching areas beyond Kathmandu valley near Pokhara. He said, a total of 16 NDRF teams are now present in the Himalayan nation and were working in close coordination with Nepalese authorities.

Mathur said 24 tonnes of relief material have been dispatched to Nepal even as 19 mountaineers were rescued by Indian personnel from the Lukla area. He said three field hospitals, with 45 beds, have been made operational there and even three surgeries have been conducted. Defence Secretary said, Indian Air Force rescued 342 Indians Tuesday bringing cumulative figure to 2,865.

Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar said it is expected that 100 more buses will go to Nepal from Uttar Pradesh today and after dropping relief material, they will carry passengers back. He said that Indian engineering teams were working to keep the roads open and clear them from debris that fell in the aftermath of the shocks.

Meanwhile, tapping into its 38,000-strong force of Gorkha soldiers, the Indian Army has sent some of them to various parts of Nepal to ascertain the requirements in remote places of the earthquake ravaged country.

Additional Director General of Military Operations Maj Gen Ranbir Singh said that some of Gorkha soldiers have reached their destinations and they are providing valuable inputs about the extent of damage and the specific relief needed.

Nepal Home Ministry officials say that they are receiving relief material and rescue teams from 21 countries including India, China, United States, Japan, Germany and Turkey. However, they do not have integrated information about the details of the received material and status of relief distribution, Nepal Ministry of Home Affairs spokesperson Lakshmi Prasad Dhakal said .

Npal Prime Minister Sushil Koirala thanked all who supported rescue and relief work and pleaded to renovate historical and cultural monuments destroyed by the tremors at the earliest. It is worth to recall that the number of people killed in the massive earthquake in Nepal has reached 5,057 with more than 8000 injured. In an interview to Reuters news agency, Koirala however, expressed his apprehension that the death toll could reach ten thousand as information from the affected remote villages is yet to come.

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