Claim shortage of rescue equipment, boats.
Demanded at least ten rescue boats in future at emergency for the rescue of people in distress as well as the movement of stranded passengers.
Locals from the flood-affected Khandepar, Usgao area, criticise the government for the shortage of equipment, rescue boats.
Manyf people were stranded at Khandepar junction due to flooding of NH halting the movement at both ends. They were stranded till late evening with no equipment or rescue boat in service. The available few boats were at the flood-affected area for rescuing people in distress,” locals said.. However, they too fell short, and many locals went through water and saved some precious goods, foodgrains from flooded houses, they said.
Locals demanded taking a lesson from this in the future, and at least ten rescue boats must be available to rescue people in distress and movement of stranded passengers.
Viraj Sapre, who took part in the rescue operation, said there is a need for life-saving equipment in times of distress.
“Even locals can help trapped flood victims or the stranded people cross another side of the road through rafter boats,” he stated.
He said he does not want to suggest that government machinery did not work but was ill-equipped.
“With a shortage of rescue boats, thousands of people were unable to cross another side of the road. The only rescue boat with Ponda Fire personnel was learnt to have broken down. They procured two boats from Panjim and Margao,” he said.
Sapre said the entire riverbank houses were flooded and even internal roads.
“The journalist can’t move other sides for coverage at flood-affected areas as there were no rescue boats. The locals went through flooded water and saved some commodities, goods,” he said.
Rocky Dias said that when people went to their workplace on that fateful morning, there was no rain or any flooding of the river.
“However, when they returned from the workplace, they witnessed both ends of NH highway at Khandepar OPA Junction flooded,” he said.
He said some employees, especially ladies, panicked.
“In such a situation, there must be doctors, refreshments ready to provide to flood victims and stranded people,” he says.
He said proper disaster management was needed at the river bank with at least ten rescue boats/canoes for people.
“Due to flooding of the road at Khandepar on both sides, hundreds of people were stranded,” he said.
The locals criticised the government as women were forced to climb the road bridge of Khandepar to cross other ends of the road.
Many relatives of office going employees/women arrived, and the ladies were stranded at other ends till late at night in the absence of rescue boats.