NEW DELHI: As tonnes of relief goods sent by India pile up in quake-hit Nepal, the Himalayan country has requested New Delhi to ensure that further supply of such material is only need-based.
According to Nepalese ambassador Deep Kumar Upadhyay, Kathmandu has asked Indian agencies not to send items like water or clothes, and focus instead on supplying tarpaulin sheets and dry rations for its citizens rendered homeless by the unprecedented disaster.
“The Nepalese embassy is coordinating with the Indian government to make sure that supply (of relief material) is need-based,” Upadhyay said at a felicitation event for National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) personnel back from Nepal after a much-lauded rescue and relief operation.
Stating that Nepal would continue to work closely with India in the reconstruction phase, Upadhyay said the emphasis would be on preserving the country’s cultural heritage. “We would like to rebuild the nation as it stood before the quake, and restore our heritage sites to their original state,” he said.
Earlier, home minister Rajnath Singh described Nepal as a sovereign state that India considers like a family member. “Whatever help is sought by Nepal, we are willing to extend,” he said even as he lauded the NDRF for its “exemplary” rescue work in the quake-ravaged nation.
“I am proud of the NDRF. They have carved a niche for themselves as an able rescue force, having rescued alive 11 of the total 16 people and recovering 133 bodies in all. This, when rescue agencies from 34 different countries had been working in Nepal,” Singh said.
NDRF chief O P Singh, while lauding his boys, mentioned how they had braved after-shocks and partially-collapsed structures to complete their rescue mission in Nepal. He made a special mention of two incidents, one involving a 43-year-old woman who was buried under the rubble for 36 hours before being rescued by NDRF men, and the other involving extrication of the body of a serving major in the Nepalese Army after a 12-hour operation.
All 780 NDRF personnel engaged in the rescue mission are back home, with the last group landing here on Wednesday night