Chandigarh, June 25, 2013: The Punjab Government today assured the flood victims and people of Uttarakhand of all help, support and assistance in their hour of grief in the wake of unprecedented natural calamity.
In an emergency meeting here on Monday, the Punjab Cabinet under the Chairmanship of Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal expressed sincerest condolences, sympathies and solidarity with the thousands of affected families and said that the government and the people of state would stand by them, shoulder to shoulder and no stone will be left unturned to ensure their safety, relief and rehabilitation.
The Cabinet in a unanimously adopted resolution expressed profound grief and sorrow over this tragedy which claimed several precious human lives. The Cabinet also prayed to the Almighty to grant peace to the departed souls and give enormous courage to the members of the bereaved families to bear this huge loss. The meeting also appreciated the pro-active role of Army, ITBP, NDRF and other security forces besides the local residents of Uttarakhand for showing exemplary courage and valour with missionary zeal to save the lives of people.
The Punjab government launched all out efforts to tackle this most devastating natural calamity by deputing special teams of Police and Civil officers to carry out relief operations. Rising above their limited duties, each and every member of these teams displayed humanitarian spirit to extend relief and rehabilitation measures to the calamity stricken people all the day and night. The meeting also lauded the contribution of Govt. of Punjab and People of Punjab to help the people of Uttarakhand to rebuild their lives in any way. The meeting also appreciated all officers and employees for discharging their duties in this hour of crisis with the sense of utmost dedication, sincerity and devotion. The meeting also highly appreciated the role of different departments of Transport, Punjab Police, and Health and Family Welfare besides the members of the team deputed at Rishikesh comprising A. Venu Parsad, Sumer Singh Gurjar, Khubi Ram and Kulwinder Singh. Apart from this, another team undertaking relief operations from Joshimath camp including KS Pannu, Kamaldeep Singh Sangha, Rajdeep Singh and Kulbhushan, who executed the entire relief operations with tremendous commitment and devotion.
The Cabinet in this meeting also appreciated the unprecedented role of Punjabis, countrymen for extending all possible help and assistance to the victims and the affected families in these difficult times. The meeting also lauded the enormous contribution of Shiromani Gurdwara Parbhandak Committee (SGPC), Delhi Gurdwara Management Committee (DGMC) besides several religious and social voluntary organizations who played a vanguard role throughout day and night in the right earnest. The Punjab Cabinet feels proud on their rare contribution and expresses gratitude to them for their unparalleled services for the welfare of mankind.
The meeting also fervently appeals to the all Punjabis and countrymen to come forward for making liberal donations for these relief and rehabilitation operations. The meeting also prays to the Almighty for the security and safety of life and property of the people afflicted with this tragedy and the state government assures of all help and cooperation to them.
Meanwhile, the Cabinet also appreciated the concerted efforts of the Chief Minister, who cut short his foreign visit and straight way reached Chandigarh to oversee the entire relief and rehabilitation operations and ensure the safe evacuation of pilgrims from Uttarakhand to Punjab.
It may be recalled that all the SAD-BJP MPs and MLAs had already decided to contribute one month salary toward the Calamity Fund.
The Punjab government also decided to grant Rs. 3 crore each to rebuild Sri Kedarnath temple, Sri Badrinath temple and Gurdwara Sri Hemkunt Sahib besides a sum of Re. one crore for the revamping of other infrastructure/installations at Uttarakhand which had been damaged due to these flash floods.
On the occasion, the Cabinet also observed the two minutes silence in the memory of departed souls and prayed to God to grant eternal peace to them and give strength to their families to bear this irreparable loss.
The Cabinet was also briefed about the state government’s relentless efforts to carry out relief operations in Uttarakhand.
It was informed that a helicopter was placed at the disposal of Uttarakhand government/Army authorities since June 19, 2013 which had evacuated 575 pilgrims. As many as 280 buses/Mini buses/trucks/jeeps were dispatched to Rishikesh and Joshimath. 119 bus trips were made from Rishikesh to Chandigarh and other places in the state. Approximately 5500 pilgrims brought till date from Rishikesh through these buses. 2050 pilgrims were evacuated from Joshimath to Rishikesh in 61 Punjab Police Mini buses and 25 seater vehicles of the Transport Department.
The Chief Minister visited Sector 43 ISBT twice to meet the pilgrims brought from Rishikesh in government buses. All stranded pilgrims at Gobind Ghat, Joshimath and Rishikesh were evacuated to safer places till today morning. 12 Ambulances sent to Uttarakhand, 5 were stations at Rishikesh and 7 between Rishikesh and Joshimath. Arrangements were made for supply of diesel to all these vehicles at Rishikesh by Food and Civil Supplies Department. 24-hour control room was set up at Headquarter to provide information to the relatives of pilgrims and coordinate rescue operations. More than 1000 personnel of Punjab Police were also deployed in this operation at Rishikesh and Joshimath and a special police contingent of 160 jawans has been sent to evacuate pilgrims from the higher reaches beyond Joshimath.