Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan formally thanked the armed forces and other central agencies for the unstinted support they offered to the state during the flood-relief operations. The people of Kerala and their descendants will remain indebted to them forever, he said.
If it were not for the Army, Navy and Air Force and agencies like the Coast Guard and BSF, the death toll would have risen substantially, he said at a farewell function held at the Air Force Station
Pinarayi presented citations to officers representing the various services which read: “The people of Kerala value, recognise and honour your exceptional, tireless and timely assistance at the time of severe calamity and crisis during the floods for bringing relief and succour to the lives of thousands of citizens. The high degree of commitment and professionalism displayed by you and your team contributed in large measures to the state’s rescue and relief efforts.”
The armed forces braved adverse circumstances and risked their lives to assist the civil authorities in the rescue and relief operations, he said. “We could directly witness the bold initiatives they took to rescue those who were stranded in the flood waters,” he said.
Air Marshal B Suresh, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Air Command (SAC), said the chief minister had led from the front. The Air Marshal also lauded the “spirit and strength of Malayalee” in handling crisis and praised the government machinery and civilian population for their efforts to mitigate the devastation.'
The Chief Minister presented citations to Air Marshal B Suresh, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Air Command; Rear Admiral R J Nadkarni, Chief of Staff, Southern Naval Command; Brigadier C G Arun, Station Commander, Pangode Military Station; Rekha Nambiar, NDRF Commandant; Sanatan Jena, DIG Coast Guard; Giriprasad, IG, CRPF; B C Nair, DIG BSF; Vishal Anand, Commandant ITBP and Dhanya Sanal, Defence PRO and to all military and paramilitary forces participated in the rescue mission.