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Army takes rescue mission to quake epicentre; clears road to

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Widening 'Operation Maitri', Indian Army today moved its rescue mission outside Nepal's capital into the epicentre of the devastating earthquake at Barpak village in Gorkha district, while its engineers opened up the road to Kathmandu from India.

The opening up of the road from India to Kathmandu means that relief materials and equipment can now be moved by road instead of just the air in the wake of the devastating earthquake in Nepal.

As per priorities expressed by Nepal Army, a Task Force Headquarters has been established in Kathmandu under Major General J S Sandhu. Another Task Force has been set up at Barpak under Brigadier J Gamlin, Army officers here said.

"The aid that is being sent to Nepal is what has been asked by the Nepal Army. We are helping them as per their requirement," the officers said, when asked about the kind of equipment that was being sent to Nepal.

They added that Nepal was not seeking Indian personnel but equipment and expertise.

Talking about the rescue mission of the Indian Army, the officers said the road from Kathmandu to Pokhara has been opened up by Engineer Task Force inducted yesterday.

They said satellite communication link between Nepalese Army Headquarters and Indian Army Engineer Task Force has been established. In addition, a Movement Control Team has been set up in Kathmandu to direct relief convoys to affected areas.

The Army, which has established a helicopter base in Pokhara, has pressed into service four advanced light helicopters and two Cheetah choppers.

The Army said that induction of 18 medical teams, besides three field hospitals, has been completed. One field hospital has been deployed at Rajdalgarh near Lalitpur with one orthopaedic specialist, one surgical specialist and one anaesthetist along with attached medical staff.

Additional doctors have been tasked to cover 80 KM radius area around the base in two mobile teams, the Army said.

One Engineer Task Force, which was inducted yesterday comprising 40 personnel, five Earth Moving Equipment (Engineer Plant) and generators, has also started functioning.

First Published: Mon, April 27 2015. 20:42 IST