Hiten Shukla

               As the Cyclone Vayu swift passed the coastal areas of Gujarat, Indian Army in coordination with the state government had deployed 10 columns for rescue and relief operations in Saurashtra. The synergy with state government, Army, NDRF and other agencies was phenomenal. After being formally requisitioned by the state government, the army columns geared themselves for the rescue operations which helped the administration with NDRF and Police to evacuate thousands of people from low lying areas of coastal Gujarat to safer places.

             Ahmedabad based Golden Katar Division was the central controlling authority for Army columns which planned and executed this meticulous task. Various officials and Army personnel of the Golden Katar Division and its units were seen interacting with civil officials and NDRF team to assist them in evacuation and maintenance of basic amenities. The Army columns were instrumental in clearing of road at some places which restored the road network thereby assisting the flow of traffic. Interaction cum helping endeavor was undertaken by the Army for persons lodged at various shelter homes in 10 districts on 13 June 19.  A team of Doctors from Army Medical Corps was at the helm of affairs in giving critical care to the displaced people. The bereaved people were examined and given medicines based on the diagnosis. The medical support will be rendered to far flung shelter homes till all displaced people returns to their homes.

             State government utilized Army columns to distribute rations and food at relief camps in affected districts. At Porbandar, a major mishap was averted due to the uprooting of a communication tower which fell on the building. Army and NDRF restored the communication and the tower was removed by cutting it from the base to prevent any accident. 24 Columns of Army were kept on standby to react at short notice. Army officials are in constant touch with SDMs of all districts HQ to work as a team.