Staff Reporter

KOLKATA: The medical relief operations that were being carried on by the army in North and South 24 Parganas, the worst affected districts in the cyclone Aila, were derequisitioned here on Friday.

Addressing a press conference, Brig. A K Sanyal, Deputy GOC Bengal Area said that the army had carried out relief operations in two phases. In the first phase, immediately following the cyclone, two columns of the army carried out evacuations, rescue operations and distribution of relief material from Basanti and Sandeshkhali. At the same time, the air force airdropped 72 tonnes of relief material to marooned villages.

On June 2, the State government again requested army assistance in disease control in the affected areas. The army responded by deploying 16 medical teams, consisting of one doctor and three paramedics each, in the Gosaba block in South 24 Parganas and Hingalganj in North 24 Parganas. These teams treated more than 11,000 people.Brig. Sanyal thanked the district administration that provided the relief material and medical supplies as well as guides and boats to carry the army doctors to the affected villages.

On being asked about the reports of delays in relief reaching certain areas he said, “a relief team takes time. A disaster of this magnitude has no quick fix solutions.”

Brig. V.P. Singh, said that in the villages where the army was in operation, most of the acute cases of diarrhoea and dysentery were attended to.