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The Incredible Dynamics of Narendra Modi’s Airlift from Uttarkhand

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  • Sukla Sen
    ht
    Message 1 of 3 , Jun 24, 2013
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      ht

      23 Sunday Jun 2013

      The Incredible Dynamics of Narendra Modi’s Airlift from Uttarkhand.

      23


      Posted by Nilim Dutta in Opinion

      Let me begin with a confession. I have, personally, done absolutely nothing for the distressed pilgrims or natives of Uttarkhand which was left devastated by nature’s fury just days ago till the moment of writing this post. That I am, at the moment, confined to a wheelchair isn’t the excuse, though. Far more professionally competent personnel, and in numbers that only the government can deploy, particularly from the army, the Indo Tibetan Border Police and the NDRF, are spread out on the ground, working day and night in the rescue & relief operation. The Indian Air Force has deployed the kind of air assets without which the rescue from remote cut-off areas wouldn’t have been possible. In short, this isn’t exactly a scenario to enact a theatre of the absurd.

      The relief and rescue mission, it seems, has undergone a dramatic change in its scale and pace with the arrival of Mr. Narendra Modi, Chief Minister of Gujarat, in Dehradun on Friday evening, 20 June 2013. I reproduce below, word-for-word excerpts of the report in The Times of India, “Narendra Modi lands in Uttarakhand, flies out with 15,000 Gujaratis,” by one Anand Soondas for TNN.

      But above all, he has also managed to bring home some 15,000 stranded Gujarati pilgrims.

      The Gujarat CM, who flew in on Friday evening, held a meeting till 1am with his crack rescue team of five IAS, one IPS, one IFS and two GAS (Gujarat Administrative Service) officers. Two DSPs and five police inspectors were also part of his delegation. They sat again with the nitty-gritty of evacuation in a huddle that a senior BJP leader said lasted till 1am on Sunday.

      Around 80 Toyota Innovas have been requisitioned to ferry Gujaratis to safer places in Dehradun as have four Boeings. On Saturday, 25 luxury buses transported a bunch of grateful people to Delhi. The efforts are being coordinated by two of the senior-most IAS officers of Gujarat, one currently stationed in Delhi and another in Uttarakhand.

      What cannot be dismissed, though, is Modi’s now trademark style of micro-management, something his supporters say is the need of the hour for India. “It’s amazing what he has done here,” said Anil Baluni, a BJP leader. “If someone doesn’t like it, what can we do?’

      Modi’s men have not only para-dropped a complete medical team in Hardwar,….

      So, the crux of the story is this:

      First, with 80 Toyota Innovas, 25 Luxury Buses and 4 Chartered Boeing Aircarfts, Mr. Modi flew or ferried out 15,000 (Gujarati) pilgrims who were stranded in the Uttarkhand natural disaster in less than 2 days.

      Second, Modi’s men had also para-dropped a complete medical team in Hardwar.

      Last but not the least, Mr. Modi accomplished all that with his crack team of 5 IAS, 1 IPS, 1 IFS and 2 GAS Officers, assisted by 2 DSPs and 5 police inspectors. (I demand a Supreme Court monitored inquiry against our Central Army Commander, Lt. Gen. Anil Chait as to why did he need so many personnel on the ground when we had Mr. Modi?)

      As the only airport in Uttarkhand able to land Boeings would be Jolly Grant at Dehradun, I did take a look at official figures at traffic of rescued pilgrims there. These may not be exhaustive but are still indicative:

      On 18 June 2013, 208 people were airlifted by helicopters from affected areas and landed at Jolly Grant in Dehradun.

      On 20 June 2013, 245 people were airlifted by helicopters from affected areas and landed at Jolly Grant in Dehradun.

      On 21 June 2013, 282 people were airlifted by helicopter from affected areas and landed in Jolly Grant in Dehradun.

      On 22 June 2013, 190 people were airlifted by helicopter from affected areas and landed in Jolly Grant in Dehradun.

      In all, 925 people were airlifted out of affected areas and landed at Jolly Grant. That should give an indication of what can be achieved by nearly 50 helicopters flying sorties throughout the day from areas like Guptkashi, Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gaurikund, Gauchar, Harshil etc

      When the IAF landed its new C 130J Hercules Spec. Ops aircrafts at Dharasu advanced landing ground yesterday, the first one took off from there with 113 rescued pilgrims straight to Hindon in Delhi.

      Is it even believable that Jolly Grant could handle even 5,000 persons in emergency evacuation even if 4 Boeings were available to do so, considering even the widebodied Boeing 787 Dreamliner can only accommodate a maximum of 381 passengers? (Take the flying time between Ahmedabad and Dehradun, landing and turn-around time for each sortie)

      Interestingly, India TV reports that only 134 pilgrims were flown to Ahmedabad from Jolly Grant yesterday by a Boeing 737-700 belonging to Jet Airways which was chartered by the Gujarat government.  (The India TV Report)

      Again, how many trips can 80 Toyota Innovas make from Dehradun to Delhi from Friday night till yesterday and how many people can this ‘Kafila’ evacuate?

      Also, how many people, even if they were packed in like sardines, could 25 luxury buses evacuate from Dehradun to Delhi?

      I leave it to the readers to do the math instead of solving crossword puzzles this Sunday afternoon.

      I have also, hereby posted the weblink of the Uttarkhand Government on rescue and relief data:

      Disaster Relief Operation 2013, Uttarkhand Government 

      I have a sneaky feeling that 15,000 pilgrims from Gujarat wasn’t even stranded in Uttarkhand to be rescued by Mr. Modi.

      But that is not all. Mr. Modi’s men had apparently also ‘para-dropped’ an entire medical team into Haridwar. Why on earth would one do that when Haridwar was accessible by road from Jolly Grant just about 25-30 Kms away is beyond my comprehension. Or is it that Mr. Modi’s men have become qualified parachutists and have also acquired a few Lockheed Martin C 130J Hercules as they can’t depend on the IAF any longer? ( I am wondering whether the medical team that para-dropped in, did so wearing rather airy khaki shorts that came to their knees.)

      Given how serious the situation in Uttarkhand is, it’s a wonder why Mr. Modi didn’t do a HALO straight on to Kedarnath himself.

      _____________________________________

      Vindicating my opinion, The Times of India today countered its own report published yesterday on Narendra Modi’s claim:

      Forget Modi, even Rambo can’t save 15,000 pilgrims, experts say

      TNN | Jun 24, 2013, 01.54 AM IST

      AHMEDABAD: Narendra Modi's spin doctorscame in for some harsh criticism on Sunday for giving out an impression that the Gujarat chief minster had transformed into Rambo and helped rescue 15,000 Gujarati pilgrims stranded in theUttarakhand floods.

      Experts said it was practically impossible to move 15,000 people in a short span of time even by the armed forces, whose personnel are trained for such massive tasks. The government's own records showed that of the 2,000-odd people who have returned to Gujarat till Saturday, about 1,200 had used arrangements made by the state government. The 400-plus pilgrims that reached Ahmedabad railway station on Sunday morning had made their own arrangements to return home.

      Union I&B minister Manish Tewari on Sunday said Modi's claims reflected "rank opportunism" to try and milk a tragedy for political reasons. All the elements of national power put together had on Saturday evacuated 10,000 people and in all the government had been successful in evacuating 17,000 people, he said.

      "Now in all this, if somebody wants to become Rambo and claims that he alone in a span of two days during a trip of disaster tourism brought out 15,000 people, I am afraid for the lack of a better word, it just reflects rank opportunism and sheer desperation to try and politicize and even milk a tragedy for political reasons," he said.

      The first flight of Gujarati pilgrims came on Saturday with 134 people. Flying in 15,000 people in 36 hours would have needed at least 115 flights, but theses many aircraft have not landed at the Ahmedabad airport.

      "Does Modi have his own private army that he managed to bring back 15,000 pilgrims in two days," asked Congress leader Shaktisinh Gohil. "Almost all states have helped Uttarakhand in this crisis and none of them have tried to get cheap publicity like this. Modi should also explain why he has offered just Rs 2 crore as aid to the flood-hit state when even Bimaru states like Bihar have offered Rs 5 crore."

      --
      Peace Is Doable
    • Satish Oberoi
        Modi had gone to Uttranchal and dispatched about 15000 Gujaratis from wherever they were. Articles  whether passengers were stuck in high mountains or were
      Message 2 of 3 , Jun 25, 2013
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        Modi had gone to Uttranchal and dispatched about 15000 Gujaratis from wherever they were. Articles  whether passengers were stuck in high mountains or were already in Dehradun are going round days after Modi had returned a few days back.

        There was criticism that VIP s have no business to create difficulties for rescue as they will  divert attention of the rescue teams. 

        Now suddenly we see Rahul and five or six CMs are flocking to Uttranchal. Rescue work is  at the fag end and what these leaders are going to do there?. It is being stated there is no restriction for these VIPs from visiting areas which were denied to Modi.

        Perhaps author of trailing article may come up with new series. 
        Question needs to be answered what these leaders are going to do in Uttranchal? Climate in the hills a conducive for cool holiday and merry making.

        Satish

        From: Sukla Sen <sukla.sen@...>
        To: IHRO <ihro@yahoogroups.com>; issueonline <issuesonline_worldwide@yahoogroups.com>; bharat-chintan@...; indiathinkersnet <indiathinkersnet@yahoogroups.com>; arkitectindia@yahoogroups.com; mahajanapada <Mahajanapada@yahoogroups.com>; bahujan <Bahujan@yahoogroups.com>; sacred-illusions <sacred-illusions@...>; Janshakti <Janshakti@yahoogroups.com>; Indian <indianfirst@yahoogroups.com>; invitesplus@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Monday, 24 June 2013, 15:51
        Subject: [INDIAN FIRST] The Incredible Dynamics of Narendra Modi’s Airlift from Uttarkhand

         

        23 Sunday Jun 2013

        The Incredible Dynamics of Narendra Modi’s Airlift from Uttarkhand.

        23

        Posted by Nilim Dutta in Opinion

        Let me begin with a confession. I have, personally, done absolutely nothing for the distressed pilgrims or natives of Uttarkhand which was left devastated by nature’s fury just days ago till the moment of writing this post. That I am, at the moment, confined to a wheelchair isn’t the excuse, though. Far more professionally competent personnel, and in numbers that only the government can deploy, particularly from the army, the Indo Tibetan Border Police and the NDRF, are spread out on the ground, working day and night in the rescue & relief operation. The Indian Air Force has deployed the kind of air assets without which the rescue from remote cut-off areas wouldn’t have been possible. In short, this isn’t exactly a scenario to enact a theatre of the absurd.
        The relief and rescue mission, it seems, has undergone a dramatic change in its scale and pace with the arrival of Mr. Narendra Modi, Chief Minister of Gujarat, in Dehradun on Friday evening, 20 June 2013. I reproduce below, word-for-word excerpts of the report in The Times of India, “Narendra Modi lands in Uttarakhand, flies out with 15,000 Gujaratis,” by one Anand Soondas for TNN.
        But above all, he has also managed to bring home some 15,000 stranded Gujarati pilgrims.
        The Gujarat CM, who flew in on Friday evening, held a meeting till 1am with his crack rescue team of five IAS, one IPS, one IFS and two GAS (Gujarat Administrative Service) officers. Two DSPs and five police inspectors were also part of his delegation. They sat again with the nitty-gritty of evacuation in a huddle that a senior BJP leader said lasted till 1am on Sunday.
        Around 80 Toyota Innovas have been requisitioned to ferry Gujaratis to safer places in Dehradun as have four Boeings. On Saturday, 25 luxury buses transported a bunch of grateful people to Delhi. The efforts are being coordinated by two of the senior-most IAS officers of Gujarat, one currently stationed in Delhi and another in Uttarakhand.
        What cannot be dismissed, though, is Modi’s now trademark style of micro-management, something his supporters say is the need of the hour for India. “It’s amazing what he has done here,” said Anil Baluni, a BJP leader. “If someone doesn’t like it, what can we do?’
        Modi’s men have not only para-dropped a complete medical team in Hardwar,….
        So, the crux of the story is this:
        First, with 80 Toyota Innovas, 25 Luxury Buses and 4 Chartered Boeing Aircarfts, Mr. Modi flew or ferried out 15,000 (Gujarati) pilgrims who were stranded in the Uttarkhand natural disaster in less than 2 days.
        Second, Modi’s men had also para-dropped a complete medical team in Hardwar.
        Last but not the least, Mr. Modi accomplished all that with his crack team of 5 IAS, 1 IPS, 1 IFS and 2 GAS Officers, assisted by 2 DSPs and 5 police inspectors. (I demand a Supreme Court monitored inquiry against our Central Army Commander, Lt. Gen. Anil Chait as to why did he need so many personnel on the ground when we had Mr. Modi?)
        As the only airport in Uttarkhand able to land Boeings would be Jolly Grant at Dehradun, I did take a look at official figures at traffic of rescued pilgrims there. These may not be exhaustive but are still indicative:
        On 18 June 2013, 208 people were airlifted by helicopters from affected areas and landed at Jolly Grant in Dehradun.
        On 20 June 2013, 245 people were airlifted by helicopters from affected areas and landed at Jolly Grant in Dehradun.
        On 21 June 2013, 282 people were airlifted by helicopter from affected areas and landed in Jolly Grant in Dehradun.
        On 22 June 2013, 190 people were airlifted by helicopter from affected areas and landed in Jolly Grant in Dehradun.
        In all, 925 people were airlifted out of affected areas and landed at Jolly Grant. That should give an indication of what can be achieved by nearly 50 helicopters flying sorties throughout the day from areas like Guptkashi, Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gaurikund, Gauchar, Harshil etc
        When the IAF landed its new C 130J Hercules Spec. Ops aircrafts at Dharasu advanced landing ground yesterday, the first one took off from there with 113 rescued pilgrims straight to Hindon in Delhi.
        Is it even believable that Jolly Grant could handle even 5,000 persons in emergency evacuation even if 4 Boeings were available to do so, considering even the widebodied Boeing 787 Dreamliner can only accommodate a maximum of 381 passengers? (Take the flying time between Ahmedabad and Dehradun, landing and turn-around time for each sortie)
        Interestingly, India TV reports that only 134 pilgrims were flown to Ahmedabad from Jolly Grant yesterday by a Boeing 737-700 belonging to Jet Airways which was chartered by the Gujarat government.  (The India TV Report)
        Again, how many trips can 80 Toyota Innovas make from Dehradun to Delhi from Friday night till yesterday and how many people can this ‘Kafila’ evacuate?
        Also, how many people, even if they were packed in like sardines, could 25 luxury buses evacuate from Dehradun to Delhi?
        I leave it to the readers to do the math instead of solving crossword puzzles this Sunday afternoon.
        I have also, hereby posted the weblink of the Uttarkhand Government on rescue and relief data:

        Disaster Relief Operation 2013, Uttarkhand Government 

        I have a sneaky feeling that 15,000 pilgrims from Gujarat wasn’t even stranded in Uttarkhand to be rescued by Mr. Modi.
        But that is not all. Mr. Modi’s men had apparently also ‘para-dropped’ an entire medical team into Haridwar. Why on earth would one do that when Haridwar was accessible by road from Jolly Grant just about 25-30 Kms away is beyond my comprehension. Or is it that Mr. Modi’s men have become qualified parachutists and have also acquired a few Lockheed Martin C 130J Hercules as they can’t depend on the IAF any longer? ( I am wondering whether the medical team that para-dropped in, did so wearing rather airy khaki shorts that came to their knees.)
        Given how serious the situation in Uttarkhand is, it’s a wonder why Mr. Modi didn’t do a HALO straight on to Kedarnath himself.
        _____________________________________
        Vindicating my opinion, The Times of India today countered its own report published yesterday on Narendra Modi’s claim:

        Forget Modi, even Rambo can’t save 15,000 pilgrims, experts say

        TNN | Jun 24, 2013, 01.54 AM IST

        AHMEDABAD: Narendra Modi's spin doctorscame in for some harsh criticism on Sunday for giving out an impression that the Gujarat chief minster had transformed into Rambo and helped rescue 15,000 Gujarati pilgrims stranded in theUttarakhand floods.

        Experts said it was practically impossible to move 15,000 people in a short span of time even by the armed forces, whose personnel are trained for such massive tasks. The government's own records showed that of the 2,000-odd people who have returned to Gujarat till Saturday, about 1,200 had used arrangements made by the state government. The 400-plus pilgrims that reached Ahmedabad railway station on Sunday morning had made their own arrangements to return home.

        Union I&B minister Manish Tewari on Sunday said Modi's claims reflected "rank opportunism" to try and milk a tragedy for political reasons. All the elements of national power put together had on Saturday evacuated 10,000 people and in all the government had been successful in evacuating 17,000 people, he said.

        "Now in all this, if somebody wants to become Rambo and claims that he alone in a span of two days during a trip of disaster tourism brought out 15,000 people, I am afraid for the lack of a better word, it just reflects rank opportunism and sheer desperation to try and politicize and even milk a tragedy for political reasons," he said.

        The first flight of Gujarati pilgrims came on Saturday with 134 people. Flying in 15,000 people in 36 hours would have needed at least 115 flights, but theses many aircraft have not landed at the Ahmedabad airport.

        "Does Modi have his own private army that he managed to bring back 15,000 pilgrims in two days," asked Congress leader Shaktisinh Gohil. "Almost all states have helped Uttarakhand in this crisis and none of them have tried to get cheap publicity like this. Modi should also explain why he has offered just Rs 2 crore as aid to the flood-hit state when even Bimaru states like Bihar have offered Rs 5 crore."

        --
        Peace Is Doable


      • Mohammad Imran
        I have, personally, done absolutely nothing for the distressed pilgrims or natives of Uttarkhand which was left devastated by nature’s fury just days ago
        Message 3 of 3 , Jun 25, 2013
        • 0 Attachment
          I have, personally, done absolutely nothing for the distressed pilgrims or natives of Uttarkhand which was left devastated by nature’s fury just days ago till the moment of writing this post

          Nature's fury was not the cause of troubles of the pilgrims. It was the callous attitude of the state and central governments who did not use information available to them to alert the pilgrims and start rescuing them before cloudbursts and heavy down pour. In an era when they can predict time wise when and how high Jamuna will rise in Delhi they can also predict how much rain will fall in certain area and how high the flood levels be in the rivers. The two governments and their agencies slept and now they blame the weather.


          On Jun 24, 2013, at 6:21 AM, Sukla Sen wrote:

           

          ht


          23 Sunday Jun 2013

          The Incredible Dynamics of Narendra Modi’s Airlift from Uttarkhand.

          23


          Posted by Nilim Dutta in Opinion

          Let me begin with a confession. I have, personally, done absolutely nothing for the distressed pilgrims or natives of Uttarkhand which was left devastated by nature’s fury just days ago till the moment of writing this post. That I am, at the moment, confined to a wheelchair isn’t the excuse, though. Far more professionally competent personnel, and in numbers that only the government can deploy, particularly from the army, the Indo Tibetan Border Police and the NDRF, are spread out on the ground, working day and night in the rescue & relief operation. The Indian Air Force has deployed the kind of air assets without which the rescue from remote cut-off areas wouldn’t have been possible. In short, this isn’t exactly a scenario to enact a theatre of the absurd.

          The relief and rescue mission, it seems, has undergone a dramatic change in its scale and pace with the arrival of Mr. Narendra Modi, Chief Minister of Gujarat, in Dehradun on Friday evening, 20 June 2013. I reproduce below, word-for-word excerpts of the report in The Times of India, “Narendra Modi lands in Uttarakhand, flies out with 15,000 Gujaratis,” by one Anand Soondas for TNN.

          But above all, he has also managed to bring home some 15,000 stranded Gujarati pilgrims.

          The Gujarat CM, who flew in on Friday evening, held a meeting till 1am with his crack rescue team of five IAS, one IPS, one IFS and two GAS (Gujarat Administrative Service) officers. Two DSPs and five police inspectors were also part of his delegation. They sat again with the nitty-gritty of evacuation in a huddle that a senior BJP leader said lasted till 1am on Sunday.

          Around 80 Toyota Innovas have been requisitioned to ferry Gujaratis to safer places in Dehradun as have four Boeings. On Saturday, 25 luxury buses transported a bunch of grateful people to Delhi. The efforts are being coordinated by two of the senior-most IAS officers of Gujarat, one currently stationed in Delhi and another in Uttarakhand.

          What cannot be dismissed, though, is Modi’s now trademark style of micro-management, something his supporters say is the need of the hour for India. “It’s amazing what he has done here,” said Anil Baluni, a BJP leader. “If someone doesn’t like it, what can we do?’

          Modi’s men have not only para-dropped a complete medical team in Hardwar,….

          So, the crux of the story is this:

          First, with 80 Toyota Innovas, 25 Luxury Buses and 4 Chartered Boeing Aircarfts, Mr. Modi flew or ferried out 15,000 (Gujarati) pilgrims who were stranded in the Uttarkhand natural disaster in less than 2 days.

          Second, Modi’s men had also para-dropped a complete medical team in Hardwar.

          Last but not the least, Mr. Modi accomplished all that with his crack team of 5 IAS, 1 IPS, 1 IFS and 2 GAS Officers, assisted by 2 DSPs and 5 police inspectors. (I demand a Supreme Court monitored inquiry against our Central Army Commander, Lt. Gen. Anil Chait as to why did he need so many personnel on the ground when we had Mr. Modi?)

          As the only airport in Uttarkhand able to land Boeings would be Jolly Grant at Dehradun, I did take a look at official figures at traffic of rescued pilgrims there. These may not be exhaustive but are still indicative:

          On 18 June 2013, 208 people were airlifted by helicopters from affected areas and landed at Jolly Grant in Dehradun.

          On 20 June 2013, 245 people were airlifted by helicopters from affected areas and landed at Jolly Grant in Dehradun.

          On 21 June 2013, 282 people were airlifted by helicopter from affected areas and landed in Jolly Grant in Dehradun.

          On 22 June 2013, 190 people were airlifted by helicopter from affected areas and landed in Jolly Grant in Dehradun.

          In all, 925 people were airlifted out of affected areas and landed at Jolly Grant. That should give an indication of what can be achieved by nearly 50 helicopters flying sorties throughout the day from areas like Guptkashi, Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gaurikund, Gauchar, Harshil etc

          When the IAF landed its new C 130J Hercules Spec. Ops aircrafts at Dharasu advanced landing ground yesterday, the first one took off from there with 113 rescued pilgrims straight to Hindon in Delhi.

          Is it even believable that Jolly Grant could handle even 5,000 persons in emergency evacuation even if 4 Boeings were available to do so, considering even the widebodied Boeing 787 Dreamliner can only accommodate a maximum of 381 passengers? (Take the flying time between Ahmedabad and Dehradun, landing and turn-around time for each sortie)

          Interestingly, India TV reports that only 134 pilgrims were flown to Ahmedabad from Jolly Grant yesterday by a Boeing 737-700 belonging to Jet Airways which was chartered by the Gujarat government.  (The India TV Report)

          Again, how many trips can 80 Toyota Innovas make from Dehradun to Delhi from Friday night till yesterday and how many people can this ‘Kafila’ evacuate?

          Also, how many people, even if they were packed in like sardines, could 25 luxury buses evacuate from Dehradun to Delhi?

          I leave it to the readers to do the math instead of solving crossword puzzles this Sunday afternoon.

          I have also, hereby posted the weblink of the Uttarkhand Government on rescue and relief data:

          Disaster Relief Operation 2013, Uttarkhand Government 

          I have a sneaky feeling that 15,000 pilgrims from Gujarat wasn’t even stranded in Uttarkhand to be rescued by Mr. Modi.

          But that is not all. Mr. Modi’s men had apparently also ‘para-dropped’ an entire medical team into Haridwar. Why on earth would one do that when Haridwar was accessible by road from Jolly Grant just about 25-30 Kms away is beyond my comprehension. Or is it that Mr. Modi’s men have become qualified parachutists and have also acquired a few Lockheed Martin C 130J Hercules as they can’t depend on the IAF any longer? ( I am wondering whether the medical team that para-dropped in, did so wearing rather airy khaki shorts that came to their knees.)

          Given how serious the situation in Uttarkhand is, it’s a wonder why Mr. Modi didn’t do a HALO straight on to Kedarnath himself.

          _____________________________________

          Vindicating my opinion, The Times of India today countered its own report published yesterday on Narendra Modi’s claim:

          Forget Modi, even Rambo can’t save 15,000 pilgrims, experts say

          TNN | Jun 24, 2013, 01.54 AM IST

          AHMEDABAD: Narendra Modi's spin doctorscame in for some harsh criticism on Sunday for giving out an impression that the Gujarat chief minster had transformed into Rambo and helped rescue 15,000 Gujarati pilgrims stranded in theUttarakhand floods.

          Experts said it was practically impossible to move 15,000 people in a short span of time even by the armed forces, whose personnel are trained for such massive tasks. The government's own records showed that of the 2,000-odd people who have returned to Gujarat till Saturday, about 1,200 had used arrangements made by the state government. The 400-plus pilgrims that reached Ahmedabad railway station on Sunday morning had made their own arrangements to return home.

          Union I&B minister Manish Tewari on Sunday said Modi's claims reflected "rank opportunism" to try and milk a tragedy for political reasons. All the elements of national power put together had on Saturday evacuated 10,000 people and in all the government had been successful in evacuating 17,000 people, he said.

          "Now in all this, if somebody wants to become Rambo and claims that he alone in a span of two days during a trip of disaster tourism brought out 15,000 people, I am afraid for the lack of a better word, it just reflects rank opportunism and sheer desperation to try and politicize and even milk a tragedy for political reasons," he said.

          The first flight of Gujarati pilgrims came on Saturday with 134 people. Flying in 15,000 people in 36 hours would have needed at least 115 flights, but theses many aircraft have not landed at the Ahmedabad airport.

          "Does Modi have his own private army that he managed to bring back 15,000 pilgrims in two days," asked Congress leader Shaktisinh Gohil. "Almost all states have helped Uttarakhand in this crisis and none of them have tried to get cheap publicity like this. Modi should also explain why he has offered just Rs 2 crore as aid to the flood-hit state when even Bimaru states like Bihar have offered Rs 5 crore."

          --
          Peace Is Doable


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