New Delhi: Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, who is presently overseeing the relief and rescue operations in the flood-hit north-Indian state of Uttarakhand has refused to declare the disaster, a national disaster. Shinde said that doing so will not serve any purpose.

Earlier, Shinde also refused permission to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s chopper from making a landing. Shinde stated that permission can’t be granted to any CM’s chopper to land in any disaster-hit area and Modi cannot be an exception to this rule.

The Home Minister said that though Mi- 17 helicopters can be pressed into service to ferry more passengers, the size of these helicopters would make it difficult to land. Due to this, smaller choppers are being used to ferry stranded pilgrims as of now.

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot also accompanied the Home Minister to the flood-hit areas. Shinde also said that a few bodies have got mutilated beyond recognition and their DNAs are being preserved to carry out the identification process later on. He further said the Army is also constructing temporary roads to expedite the rescue process.

It needs to be mentioned that Gujarat CM Narendra Modi had earlier appealed to the centre to declare the calamity in Uttarakhand, a national calamity. Gujarat government had earlier announced that it will arrange special aircrafts to bring stranded Gujarati pilgrims from Uttarakhand.

(JPN/Bureau)

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