UNITED NATIONS — Having launched the massive relief operation 'Maitri' in quake-hit Nepal, India has told the UN that it remains committed to partnering with the neighbouring country's rehabilitation and reconstruction.
Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Bhagwant Bishnoi said here yesterday that all the relief and rescue work being done by India was in "consultation and coordination with the Nepalese Government."
It is also closely engaged with the efforts of United Nations in Nepal, he said.
"Now that the search and rescue phase is over, our commitment extends to partnering with the Government and the people of Nepal for re-rehabilitation and re-construction," Bishnoi said at a briefing by the UN Secretariat on the situation after the earthquake in Nepal.
Extending condolences to the people of Nepal, Bishnoi said the citizens have handled the situation with courage.
"This shows their vitality...Our hearts go out to the people of Nepal. We are united with them by history and a border, an open border. The fact that it is an open border conveys a lot. Today India and Nepal are also united by grief," he said.
India launched Operation Maitri on April 25 to assist in the relief and rescue efforts immediately after the 7.9 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal killing over 7,000 people, including 41 Indians.
Bishnoi said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had spoken to both the President and Prime Minister of Nepal soon after the earthquake occurred.
Bishnoi told the UN that the first flight from India landed in Kathmandu within six hours of the earthquake and there have been non-stop sorties of C-17 Globe Master, IL-76 and C-130 aircraft.
India also deployed 16 teams of the National Disaster Reaction Force, each comprising 50 trained personnel.
So far, the relief assistance provided by India included 95 tons of food packages and dry rations, 94 tons of water, 7.5 tons of medicine, 3,700 tents, more than 100,000 blankets, 600 pieces of tarpaulin and 2,000 plastic sheets.
The Indian Army set up three field hospitals and the Air Force deployed a rapid action team.
India provided 15 tons of medical supplies, stretchers and oxygen concentrators and is helping with the restoration of electricity supply.
India's National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar visited Nepal on May 1 to "fine-tune" India's assistance in keeping with the requirements.
They also went to Barpak village, the epicentre of the earthquake, and met the Nepali and Indian teams working there, Bishnoi said.
The Nepal government has asked rescue teams from India and 33 other countries to leave the country and deployed thousands of its own military and police personnel as the government took charge of massive post-quake operations.