September 27, 2019 6:04:31 am
The Fire Brigade and the police, which were the first responders after floods broke out in various parts of Pune on Wednesday, were later joined by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and the Indian Army in conducting relief and rescue operations.
As heavy rains started lashing the city from 8 pm, the Fire Brigade and police control rooms started receiving calls seeking help. Teams from local police stations and the Fire Brigade were pressed into action with ambulances and relief and rescue equipment. Chief Fire Officer for Pune Fire Brigade Prashant Ranpise said, “Sixteen fire tenders from 14 fire stations along with a staff of more than 100 firemen were pressed into action. Our teams evacuated 575 people overnight.”
Among those rescued overnight was a 10-month-old boy and his family members who were stranded outside their house near Mitra Mandal Chowk. A video of fireman, Maruti Devkule, rescuing the baby in a basket was widely circulated on social media platforms.
At midnight, teams from the NDRF and Indian Army joined rescue operations. A press release from the Indian Army said, “At 12.20 am on Thursday, Army representatives in Pune received an SOS call for relief and rescue operations at Chimta Basti on Solapur Road. The Bhairoba Nala had overflowed and a large number of residents were stranded due to inundation. People were also stranded on the two bridges connecting Empress Garden with BT Kawade Road, which were under water. The local district administration was notified, however, no formal requisition was received. On humanitarian grounds, four relief teams from local units and one Engineer Task Force from Bombay Engineering Group and Centre comprising 157 Army personnel were mustered and sprung into rescue and relief operations immediately. Timely and swift action by the Indian Army averted a possible mishap and prevented loss of lives.”
The press release added, “As many as 300 stranded civilians were rescued from houses under water, stranded on either side of the bridges and stuck on rooftops and trees. Two ambulances were also employed for medical emergency during the operations. Hot tea and biscuits were served to the evacuated people. The operations were called off at 4 am.”
Four fully equipped teams of the 5th Battalion of the NDRF were dispatched from its Sudumbare headquarters to various parts of Pune district. Sachchidanand Gawade, deputy commandant of the 5th Battalion, said the teams will remain deployed considering the warning for heavy rains for next two days.
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