New Delhi: Twenty bravehearts, who died in Tuesday`s chopper crash while rescuing stranded people in flood-ravaged areas of Uttarakhand, will be given a `guard of honour` – a ceremonial mark of respect – by the government in Dehradun on Friday.
"Twenty people belonging to National Disaster Response Force (nine), Indo Tibetan Border Police (six) and five from Indian Air Force will be a given guard of honour tomorrow at 12.30 pm in Dehradun," Vice Chairman of National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) M Shashidhar Reddy told reporters.
Reddy said he would be accompanying Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde to Dehradun to pay homage to these brave personnel who laid down their lives in the service of the nation.
A sophisticated Mi-17V5 helicopter, belonging to IAF, had crashed in bad weather during a rescue mission in the flood-ravaged hill state. Bodies of all 20 personnel, on board the ill-fated chopper, have been recovered.
He said so far over one lakh people have been evacuated from different areas of the state.
"As many as 1,495 people have been evacuated till 2 pm today both by air and by road. A total of 1,04,095 people have been evacuated so far since the disaster struck," Reddy said.
He said that 560 people have died in the disaster, 476 have been injured and about 344 people are still missing. A total of 2,232 houses, 154 bridges and 320 roads have been damaged due to the disaster.
Reddy`s figures are lower to official estimates of 822 people having lost their lives following the natural disaster in the hill state.
Reddy hoped that the rescue operation would be completed by Friday.