'We faced challenges in rescue mission'

NDRF battalion, which rescued nearly 160 people in Raichur, to stay back for two more days

The worst is over in Raichur, at least for now. But the government is not for taking any risks. It has requested a team of National Disaster Response Force of Pune to continue its stay in Raichur.

The reason: The district administration is of the view that the team’s services may be required if Maharashtra releases water from the river Koyna (a tributary of Krishna) into Karnataka. If such a development occurs, then many villages on the banks of the river will get submerged.

A National Disaster Response Force team, led by team commander S D Ingle, was air dropped in Raichur on October 2. The team, comprising 40 well trained-men (there are no women on the team) rescued nearly 160 people, who were stranded in water in Kuruvapura and Burdipadu villages on the bank of Krishna River.

However, for the last two days, they have been stationed in Raichur, expecting a call from the district administration. They are camping in a hostel, and the district administration is taking care of their food and accommodation.

NDRF is a battalion (145) of the Central Reserve Police Force. Among the CRPF men, those with a science background are included in the battalion. They are imparted special training in rescuing people affected in disasters.

All of them are professional swimmers, know heli54 slithering and trained in administering first aid. They have to undergo refreshers' training for every two years.
They are also trained to work at the time of nuclear, biological and chemical disasters as well. A team of rescue workers is kept ready in the headquarters in Pune around the clock.

Ingle said his team had a tough time in rescuing those stranded in Kuruvapura, Raichur taluk.

“It was difficult to travel two kilometres by boat as the current was very strong. At first, we were also worried whether we could reach the villages to rescue those who were stranded. But, somehow we managed,” he said.

Ingle has been with the NDRF battalion for the last one year. Earlier he was posted in Jammu. Rescue operations in Raichur were his first assignment.
“In Jammu our battalion was meant for fighting terrorists. Here the job was totally different. I am satisfied with the efforts we put in to save the public,” he said.
Head constable A K Singh, who has been with the battalion for the last five years, was among those who rescued about 40 women who spent nearly 36 hours on a tree in Kuruvapura.

“When we went there, the women were in shock. They were hoping that someone would come to rescue them. Many of the women had newborns with them. All of were brought back safe,” he said. Singh has earlier worked in the Andaman Islands after the tsunami struck.

The team includes a doctor, technicians, and electricians as to attend to any eventuality during the operation.

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