`U`khand flood-affected areas should have been handed over to Army`
Meerut: Launching a frontal attack on the Vijay Bahuguna Government in Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh Minority Welfare Minister Azam Khan on Saturday said that all flood-affected areas in the hill state should have been handed over to the Indian Army.
"We had said it on the very first day that the affected areas should be handed over to the Army," he said.
Khan said that the Bahuguna Government should have called an emergency Cabinet meeting soon after they realised that the situation was out of their hands.
"Decisions should have been taken at that point of time. They should have then requested the Prime Minister that the entire area should be handed over to the Army," he added.
Khan further said all the government and private helicopters should have been included in the rescue operations.
Over 1,000 people are still stranded in the holy town of Badrinath in flood ravaged Uttarakhand.
According to certain media reports, over 2,000 people are still said to be missing.
Till now, 1,04,687 persons have been evacuated from different places by road and air.
Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, who offered his condolences to all the brave hearts killed in the chopper crash on Friday, announced that the Centre would provide more funds to Uttarakhand for rehabilitation and restoration of infrastructure damaged by flash floods.
He said that priority would be given to evacuate the sick, old and disabled people, a large number of whom are stranded in the Badrinath area.
Shinde, who also reviewed rescue and relief operations, gave an assurance that IAF choppers will remain in the hill state for another 15 days and continue to provide support.
Chief of Army Staff, General Bikram Singh, on Friday said that the rescue operations would continue till the last person is evacuated.
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