Rishikesh: BJP president Rajnath Singh, who undertook an aerial survey of the flashflood hit districts of Uttarakhand, Thursday demanded the huge tragedy be declared a national calamity.
"The tragedy is of unprecedented scale in which the number of lives lost must run into thousands so it should be declared a national calamity," the BJP chief told reporters at the Jollygrant airport here on his return from the aerial tour of the affected areas.
Describing the rescue efforts in affected areas as inadequate considering the magnitude of the calamity, Singh said the number of helicopters engaged in the operations should be increased and National Disaster Response Force deployments strengthened to evacuate people stranded in high altitude areas.
Claiming that the number of calamity victims must run into thousands, he said a proper estimate of the losses must be prepared and made public.
Former Bihar minister and BJP legislator Ashwini Chaubey, who also accompanied Singh, said he was stranded in Kedarnath for three days and his cries for help fell on deaf ears.
Terming the claims being made by the state government on the rescue measures being adopted as devoid of substance, Chaubey said two of his relatives were killed in the calamity and five of his kin are still missing.