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Operation Maitri to continue

Operation Maitri, India’s Army-led rescue and relief mission in quake-hit Nepal, would continue till normalcy returned to the Himalayan country, the Army said here on Tuesday.

The Indian rescue mission succeeded in evacuating 170 foreign nationals belonging to the U.S., the U.K., Russia and Germany, Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar said.

So far, over 5,000 Indians have been brought back from Nepal by Air Force and civilian planes

“There is no set time frame. We will continue our efforts till normalcy returns to Nepal,” Major General Ranbir Singh, ADG (Military Operations), told journalists. Chief of Army Staff Dalbir Singh, he said, was in regular touch with his Nepalese counterpart Gaurav Shumsher Jung Bahadur Rana.

Stepping up efforts to help rebuild Nepal, India had sent a cumulative relief material of 24 tonnes to the interior areas, Defence Secretary R.K. Mathur said. Kathmandu and Pokhra would be used as bases for helicopters to fly to the affected areas.

The Army, the ADG said, had sent 18 medical teams (comprising 20 people each), and 12 engineer teams of about 60 to the neighbouring country. While the engineers were helping to clear the rubble from blocked roads, the power assessment team had managed to restore electricity in major areas. The medical teams had performed 65 surgeries and treated 540 trauma cases, the ADG said.

Bihar toll touches 58

Amarnath Tewary reports from Patna

The number of people killed in Saturday’s earthquake rose to 58 in Bihar on Tuesday, as the State government sent a 30-member medical team and 32 buses to Nepal for evacuation of those from the State. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar visited the border town of Raxaul, where the government has set up relief camps for those returning from Nepal.

Around 100 people, stranded at Pokhara in Nepal, were brought back to Raxaul, and the first batch of people from Bihar reached Patna from Delhi.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2021 6:28:11 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/operation-maitri-to-continue/article7151880.ece

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