‘There is the need for one Task Force Com­man­der to co­or­di­nate with ITBP, NDRF and other agen­cies, prefer­ably un­der the Army’

Lt Gen­eral Anil Chait took over as the new Chief of In­te­grated De­fence Staff to the Chair­man Chiefs of Staff Com­mit­tee (CISC) on July 1, 2013. In an in­ter­view with Lt Gen­eral (Retd) V.K. Kapoor, Edi­tor, SP’s LandForces, Lt Gen­eral Chait elab­o­rated on the

SP's LandForces - - FRONT PAGE -

SP’s Land Forces (SP’s): When was the first for­mal in­di­ca­tion given to the armed forces about their likely em­ploy­ment for re­lief and res­cue op­er­a­tions in Ut­tarak­hand? Was the sever­ity of the disas­ter known at that time and did the lo­cal units and for­ma­tions start the re­lief and res­cue work even be­fore the for­mal ‘Op­er­a­tion Surya Hope’ was launched?

Chief of In­te­grated De­fence Staff (CIDS): On June 16, there were heavy rains and cloud bursts on higher reaches. On June 17 morn­ing, for­ward troops in Til­wara, Har­sil, Kedar­nath, Badri­nath and Dharchula sec­tors re­ported heavy rains and cloud bursts. Re­con­nais­sance (recce) par­ties of Army were moved for­ward proac­tively and im­me­di­ately to as­sess the sit­u­a­tion. No head­way could be made as the bridges had been washed away and the recce par­ties had got stuck. This ne­ces­si­tated launch of ad­di­tional par­ties. Weather did not al­low fly­ing of helicopters on recce mis­sions ei­ther. Since in­puts started ar­riv­ing piece­meal, it was de­cided to pre­pare an in­tel­li­gence prepa­ra­tion of the sit­u­a­tion and pre­lim­i­nary es­ti­mates.

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