Navy Has Deployed Ships, Tankers in Rain-Hit Chennai: RK Dhowan

NEW DELHI:  The navy has deployed a number of ships and tankers besides opening up its base as an alternative airport as part of ‘Operation Madad’ to help the rain-ravaged city of Chennai, Navy Chief Admiral RK Dhowan said today.

It has also deployed unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) to identity the worst-hit areas in Chennai to help civilian authorities.

“We used an innovative method, carrying out surveys by UAVs to identify waterlogged areas and sharing the information with the civil administration to help them in rescue work,” he said addressing his annual press conference in Delhi.

He said that the force was carrying out relief and rescue work in Chennai and other districts in Tamil Nadu.

Its base at Arakkonam was being used for civilian flights as the Chennai airport was inundated following the worst rains in a century, he said.

Dhowan said that INS Rajali, the naval base at Arakkonam, around 60 km from Chennai, was serving as the alternative airport for supplying relief material as well as for bringing in National Disaster Response Force teams.

He said tonnes of relief material along with NDRF personnel have landed at their base.

“Our ships and aircraft are deployed in Tamil Nadu. INS Airawat is deployed. We are distributing food and water,” he said, adding that around 40 tonnes of relief material had landed there.

The rescue operations involving the army, navy and air force were being managed by the high-level Defence Crisis Management group.

The Indian Air Force is also using the naval base to fly out the stranded passengers.

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