DFRL sends three tonnes of food

Uttarakhand tragedy: City team returns home safe

DFRL sends three tonnes of food

Nearly three tonnes of food dispatched in first consignment from Defence Food Research Laboratory (DFRL), Siddarthanagar, Mysore is expected to have reached the flood hit Uttarakhand State late on Tuesday.

In all, 200 kg of chapati, 60 kg of chutney and dal, 200 litres of badam milk and mango milk shake (in plastic bottles), 800 kg each of ‘sooji halwa’, ‘jeera rice’, ‘vegetable pulaav’ and ‘upma’ that can satiate the hunger of 80,000 people were sent by road to Bangalore on Monday afternoon, Harsh V Batra DFRL director told Deccan Herald.

Barring milk products, the shelf life of the remaining food items are six months to one year. Apart from ready to eat ‘chapathis’ (each weighing 40 grams totalling up to 180 kg), the remaining are re-constituted food where food will be mixed with hot water helping it to increase in terms of quantity. Three tonnes of food sent will become 7.5 tonnes after reconstitution, Batra added.

Initially DFRL had planned for only three items -- ‘upma’, ‘sooji halwa’ and ‘vegetable pulaav’. But ‘chapati’ and other items were added along with milk products, in the interest of the children among the stranded people.

Batra said that following a message from Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO), New Delhi on June 20, they began the arrangements to procure the ingredients on Friday. From June 22, the actual work started and it was completed on Sunday.

As many as 150 personnel including the PhD students voluntarily engaged themselves in the task for 12 hours, even during the weekend. The Mysore unit is fully equipped to produce 1.5 tonnes of food per day, Batra claimed. A team of three experienced scientists from DFRL, Mysore, senior scientist (F) M C Pandey and  Devkumar Yadav and Paul Murugan of ‘C’ level, who had previously worked in similar conditions is accompanying the consignment to oversee the arrangements.

Batra said that after reaching New Delhi by flight from Bangalore, the truck carrying food had left to Uttarakhand at 3 pm and is expected to reach Uttarakhand at 11 pm. On Wednesday (June 26), it is expected to be airlifted to Govindghat, the worst hit among the other flood affected regions in Uttarakhand. DRDO has already set up its relief camp at Govindghat, Batra said.

Batra also said that they hadn’t received any communication for food to be sent in the second phase. The unit is however ready to provide its assistance.

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