Pressed into relief and rescue work in the Bihar floods, the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has rescued more than 14,000 people in the state so far. In addition to engaging 10 teams from its 9th battalion based at Bihta, the NDRF has mobilised six teams from Chennai and five from Bathinda in Punjab to assist the Bihar government in meeting the challenges due to the swelling waters of the Ganga and the other rivers, DIG, NDRF SS Guleria told reporters here. Accompanied by Commandant, 9th Battalion, NDRF Vijay Sinha, the DIG said altogether, 900 rescue workers with 1,000 life jackets and 84 divers were rendering round-the-clock services to rescue those marooned. A total of 100 boats were being operated by the NDRF for the victims, he added. NDRF personnel yesterday rescued a man who was stuck at a tree-top near Danapur area in Patna district for two days and took him to a camp, Deputy Commandant KK Singh said. The NDRF DIG said the force was operating three water ambulances carrying medicines, especially those for snake bite, halogen tablets and other water-borne diseases. Asked about the difficulties faced by NDRF, Guleria, who supervised the force's operation during the floods in Jammu and Kashmir and Chennai earlier, said the current in the Ganga was proving to be a big challenge for the personnel. Asked if they were facing a tough time in meeting the demands to ferry VIPs instead of those marooned, the DIG said they have been "categorically" instructed by the Principal Secretary, Disaster Management, Vyasji, "not to entertain" any VIPs other than those recommended by the district magistrates of the affected areas.
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