Relief Camps at Raxaul Will Run As Long As Required: Ananth Kumar

Relief Camps at Raxaul Will Run As Long As Required: Ananth Kumar

The 15 rescue-cum-relief camps, set up by the SSB at Raxaul in Bihar, will run so long as they are required to carry out evacuation of Indians and people of other countries from quake-hit Nepal, Union Minister Ananth Kumar said.

"The 15 relief camps, equipped with adequate facilities, have been put up by the SSB at Raxaul town in Bihar bordering Nepal to evacuate Indians as well as people of other countries and those will continue so long as they are needed," he told reporters at the Patna airport after meeting Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to review rescue, relief and rehabilitation works.

Underscoring India's close relationship with Nepal, the Union Chemicals and Fertilizers Minister said that India had launched major rescue, relief and rehabilitation works called 'Operation Maitri' in Nepal which Prime Minister Narendra Modi was himself monitoring on a day-to-day basis.

With Raxaul town being close to the Indo-Nepal border, it was decided to launch concerted rescue and relief works from here so that Indians and others could be evacuated by road and subsequently sent to their native places by trains and other mode of transportation, he said.

Kumar and Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh came here on a day-long visit to inspect facilities at the relief camps.

Kumar said that elaborate arrangements have been made for food, water, medical and trauma-related treatment for the evacuees on their arrival from different areas in Nepal where they were stranded for days without food and water.

Describing the relief camps at Raxaul as critical facility, he said that these camps would run as long as possible, maybe 15 days or even a month, if required, to complete evacuation of the stranded people in Nepal.

He said that so far 34,000 people had been evacuated from Nepal by road and many more were on the way.

As many as 12,000 evacuees had so far checked in at the SSB camps at Raxaul who were provided food and water, besides other requirements. Of them 1,200 had been given medical treatment and 26 others sent to referral hospital.

Observing the need for transportation facilities for evacuees to their native places, Kumar said that he had spoken to Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu who had announced 'zero ticket' for the stranded people returning home by trains.

The 'zero ticket' facility will be displayed prominently at railway stations so that the evacuees could avail its benefit.

Arrangements were also being made to transport people by road to their homes in different states, Kumar said.

All central agencies and Bihar government were working in coordination, he said.

Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh expressed satisfaction with the relief works being provided by the SSB camps at Raxaul and some others working inside Nepalese territory with consent from the authorities there and said the evacuation process was on in full swing from Raxaul, Sunauli and Banbasa in Uttarkhand.

As many as 150 buses had evacuated stranded Indians from different parts of Nepal, including nine rural districts there, Singh, a Lok Sabha MP from Motihari, said.

Stating that the enormity of devastation caused by the earthquake in Nepal was similar in nature and magnitude to that in Kutch region in 2001, Kumar said that the 'Kutch Model' would be handy for rehabilitation and reconstruction in the neighbouring country.

The famous agriculture scientist M S Swaminathan has rightly called for adoption of 'Kutch Model' for rehabilitation

of the quake-affected people in Nepal and reconstruction of damaged infrastructure, Kumar said, adding that India might do the job in Nepal.

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