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No Army help for flood operation: minister

Bhubaneswar: Rejecting BJP`s demand, Orissa government on  said it did not require Army help for rescue and relief operation in the flood-hit districts even as the situation continued to remain grim. The state government`s clarification came in response to a demand made by senior BJP leader Bishwabhushan Harichandan.

The state government had deployed over 640 trained personnel belonging to Orissa Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF), National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and Fire Brigade in rescue and search operation while state officials were engaged in relief distribution, revenue and disaster management minister S N Patro said.

Besides, the state government was using helicopters of Air Force and Navy for relief operation. “Apart from boats provided by NDRF, the state government had arranged over 460 boats,” the minister said.

The state government, however, admitted that some pockets in Jajpur and Kendrapara districts had been cut off due to high flood in rivers Brahmani and Baitarani.

Meanwhile, the opposition BJP held the state government responsible for the misery of over 21 lakh people due to the second spell of flood. While 18 districts were affected by flood in Mahanadi river system, 10 more districts had come under the grip of the calamity, they pointed out.

“Orissa government should have taken help of Army as thousands of people continued to remain trapped in flood waters,” former Revenue Minister Harichandan told reporters.

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