The Government of India under Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi standing in solidarity with the people of Sikkim and leaving no stone unturned to restore normalcy in the State. Within a day of the incident of Glacial Lake Outburst Flood (GLOF)/Cloud Burst /Flash floods, Union Home Minister and Minister of Cooperation, Shri Amit Shah has deputed Minister of State for Home Affairs Shri Ajay Kumar Mishra to visit Sikkim.
Shri Ajay Kumar Mishra reached Gangtok last night, and chaired a meeting with the Chief Secretary and concerned head of departments of the State Government, and senior officers of the Army, ITBP, BRO, NHIDCL and NHPC at Gangtok, today morning.
Addressing the meeting, the Minister of State said that the Government of India is closely monitoring the situation in Sikkim and all the necessary support and assistance for the State is underway. He said that the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Shri Amit Shah are in constant touch with the State Chief Minister with regard to the extent of damages and rescue and relief work.
Minister of State for Home Affairs further informed that the Government of India has constituted an Inter-Ministerial Central Team comprising of senior officers of five Ministries of the Government of India, namely Agriculture, Road Transport & Highways, Jal Shakti, Energy and Finance. The team will visit the State from Sunday, 8th October to take stock of the ground situation, assess the damages and provide assistance wherever necessary.
Union Minister of State further informed that the Central Government has granted an advance sanction of the allocated SDRF for 2023-24 to enable the State to carry out immediate rescue, relief and restoration.
Union Minister of State in his address asserted that the Government of India under Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi urged the State Government officials to prepare a short term and long-term plan to effectively accomplish the task of re-building the damaged/lost infrastructure in the shortest possible time.
Earlier, Chief Secretary, Sikkim briefed the Union Minister of State about the sequence of events since the early hours of 4th October that led to the disaster, and the extent of damages. He apprised the Union MoS about the extensive damages to roads and other vital infrastructures like telecommunication, water and electricity. He informed about the casualties and the status of the relief camps. Further, he delivered a comprehensive summary of the steps being taken by the State Government in active coordination with the army, NDRF, BRO, ITBP and all other agencies.
Earlier today, the Union Minister of State Shri Ajay Kumar Mishra called on the Governor of Sikkim, Shri Lakshman Prasad Acharya at Raj Bhavan and assured of all possible support to the State from the Central Government to overcome the crisis.
In the afternoon, Shri Mishra visited the Army camp at Burdong where maximum casualties have happened. Union Minister of State is slated to meet the Chief Minister of Sikkim on the 8th of October and will visit affected areas and relief camps.
ITBP has carried out rescue operation right from 3rd Oct night itself, and evacuated more than 175 persons, and they are running relief centre within their different camps. 40 persons were stranded into a totally cut off area, they were rescued through highly dangerous terrain, and evacuated through rough rivers through cables and ropes. Further 6 persons were rescued, who were trapped on the other side of dam tunnel. 68 persons were stranded at Zanak, which is at 16,000 feet height, and everyone were rescued safely and brought to ITBP camp at Goma. Four stranded families were brought to Lachung BOP of ITBP and they are camping there.
Four teams of NDRF are deployed and they have also rescued 178 persons. Tourist are facilitated to contact their relatives over satellite phones from Lachung and 2 different locations of ITBP and Indian Army. Indian Air Force helicopters are on standby to launch air rescue, subject to weather conditions. Army personnel along with necessary search and rescue equipment are assisting state administration in restoration work.