IAF airdrops essential commodities in Nagaland

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HT Correspondent

Dimapur, Aug 6: After attempts for four consecutive days, the Indian Air Force helicopters managed to airdrop essential commodities in some of the areas, including the worst-hit Kiphire district, affected by incessant rains and landslides in Nagaland on Monday. Kiphire remained completely cut off from the rest of the state for the last two weeks due to landslides and collapse of retaining walls.

Other places where the commodities were airdropped so far are Tening, Tobu, Pungro and Noklak. Altogether, 10,352kgs of essential commodities that included rice, pulses, potatoes, onions, cooking oil, salt, milk powder, sugar and tea leaves by the IAF helicopters in seven sorties.

Sources said 103 locations in the state have been affected. The roads blocked by landslides made it even more difficult for the government to reach the affected villagers.

They said the state would require at least Rs 100 crore to repair the damaged roads.

Union minister of state for home Kiren Rijiju made aerial survey of some of the affected areas along with Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio, Nagaland State Disaster Management Authority (NSDMA) and central and state government official on Sunday.

During a brief meeting here later in the day, the NSDMA gave a visual presentation to Rijiju showing the extent of damage caused by rains and landslides in the state. A file containing photographs of the destruction in several parts was also presented to the minister.

Rijiju said an inter-ministerial team would be constituted and sent to the state within a week’s time to prepare a correct projection of the financial requirement. Once they submit the report, relief would be released immediately, he said.

Admitting that problems faced in hilly areas were more acute, he assured to raise the state’s issue with the next Finance Commission.

NSDMA officer on special duty Johnny Ruangmei said the state government had sought a special package for reconstruction.

Ruangmei said a request was made to Rijiju to extend assistance through special package as the fund for restoration and re-building of infrastructure under National Disaster Response Fund was “very limited”.

A verbal request was also made through Rijiju to recommend allied ministries to sanction a special packages to rebuild and reconstruct damaged infrastructure, he added.

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