Selfless sahyog by defence men helps Kerala fight rain fury

Thiruvananthapuram: From evacuating those stranded from gushing flood waters to removing huge granite blocks on roads – the defence personnel are showcasing war-front like services in the hamlets of rain-hit Kerala.

As torrential rains had thrown normal life out of gear in many parts of Kerala last week, the personnel of the Army, Navy, Airforce and Coast Guard have sprung into action, extending all support to local people and authorities to face the deluge.

Since then, the defence personnel are tirelessly working 24×7 in evacuating hapless people from isolated places, constructing temporary bridges, repairing and clearing roads in villages of Kerala, braving incessant rains and landslip threats.

They are also unhesitatingly joining hands with local authorities in distributing food articles and organising medical camps in many places. Army personnel have helped bring tribals living in remote settlements to the rehabilitation camps in mainlands in high range Idukki and Wayanad districts, authorities said.

The Army has titled the relief work in Kerala as ‘Operation Sahyog‘ (cooperation). The photographs of army men lifting huge uprooted trees in a flood-hit zone and the personnel of Indian Naval Academy (INA) evacuating persons in Wayanad have become instant hits on social media.

The Army yesterday helped accommodate a total of 187 people, hailing from hamlets of Korangatti, Pettimudi, Talamali, Chettupara, Plamala and so on in the six relief camps of Adimali in Idukki.

“The tribals were brought to the various camps after constructing and opening the road leading to various villages by the Madras Regiment personnel,” a defence spokesperson said here.

In association with the civic administration, medicines, food, blankets and other relief materials were given to the camp inmates, the spokesperson said.

When the army team had reached VirinjaparaMankulam area in Idukki district two days ago, the situation was very bad due to inclement weather and lack of connectivity.

A concrete bridge was washed away in the region in heavy rains leading to the isolation of 800 families there. They have now been evacuated and shifted to the relief camps after the men repaired the bridge, restoring the connectivity.

Army units are equipped with rescue boats, medicines and all emergency supplies for the immediate response. Indian Army’s Karnataka and Kerala sub-area, headquartered in Bangalore, is controlling the entire disaster response and rescue operation in Kerala.

A total of 8 columns of army personnel have been deployed at various parts of the state in which two are posted exclusively for worst-hit Idukki district.

In addition to this, two columns of Military Engineering Group (MEG) of Indian Army from Bangalore and one from Hyderabad were deployed in various affected districts of northern Kerala.

Besides the defence personnel, teams of National Defence Response Force (NDRF) are also extending assistance to the administration.