Army teams on Saturday stepped in to help municipal authorities execute relief operations in the rain-ravaged city of Hyderabad. Even as beleaguered authorities are fighting a flood-like situation for the fourth consecutive day, army personnel have started coordinating efforts in evacuating stranded residents and distributing food and medicines in submerged colonies.
A 60-member National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has also been kept on standby in the city. Four columns of the army have been deployed in rain-affected areas under Col Vasishta, who is manning the control room at the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) office in coordination with NDRF officials. Eight army task force teams of 40 men each were deployed in submerged areas along with boats, medicines and rescue equipment.
Maj Ashutosh (Begumpet), Maj Jamwal (Nizampet), Maj Bishth (Hakimpet) and Maj Kuldip (Alwal) were on the field evaluating the extent of damage and quantum of relief required. “At this moment, we are providing food and medical aid for the stranded people. We will evacuate them if the need arises,” said Major Jamwal, who visited the worst-affected Bhandari Layout in Nizampet. The Bison Division in a statement on Saturday said that the army had been anticipating such a situation.
It was monitoring the weather and carried out reconnaissance of the low-lying areas of the city and is well prepared to extend any type of assistance required, it said. The army will move back to the barracks only after the situation comes under control, the statement said. The army moved in after officials met GHMC Commissioner B Janardhan Reddy in the early hours of Saturday.
Power was restored in areas where the GHMC succeeded in pumping out floodwater. The Telangana government has also kept two private helicopters ready at Begumpet to transport people from submerged areas.
In Kukatpally area, residents rescued 40 children when their school bus was stuck in floodwater. A man, who fell into an open manhole in the same area, was also rescued by locals. There were reports of a dilapidated house collapsing in Kapra, injuring four residents.