Indian Navy, spearheading the Operation Lehar or restoration of East Coast after the destruction caused by Budhud cyclone on Sunday, said the topless and battered Vizag airport will be restored maximum by Friday, October 17.
With help from Airports Authorites of India (AAI), the Navy said it has cleared the airfield for civil flights for daily operations and a meeting was held with the AAI to discuss modalities for resumption of civil flight operations from INS Dega.
"All efforts are being made by the Navy to assist AAI and NDRF in making the Vishakhapatnam terminal ready for civil flight operations by Friday, 17 Oct 2014," said a statement by the Navy. A temporary helipad has also been made operational at Naval Coastal Battery at Beach Road to facilitate smooth movement of civil officials monitoring the relief operations.
Indian Navy is busy in the aftermath of cyclone Hudhud as part of the Operation Lehar in setting up community kitchens in various locations and distributing food in coordination with the local MLAs or volunteers.
Based on inputs from some MLAs, it said some community kitchens have since been discontinued and the kitchens that are presently being run by the Navy are heavily subscribed.
Additional air drop of relief material was undertaken at Rambilli by Chetak helicopters as the area continues to be isolated post the cyclone. In addition, aerial recce of the affected areas by Naval helicopters was also undertaken, it said.
Relief material transported by IAF aircraft on Tuesday is shifted to INS Dega from where the feeder trucks are loaded for onward distribution in coordination with the civil administration. Suitable storage space has also have been provided to the civil authorities for smooth distribution of the relief material, it said.
Naval communication personnel are helping the telecom authorities to restore communication lines and connectivity is being restored in most of the affected areas, said the Navy.
Survey of Vishakhapatnam harbour till the Outer Turning Basin has been completed with wire sweeps, side scan sonar and check sounding and the harbour has been declared safe for operations.
A view of Cyclone Hudhud with heavy rain fall inside the Naval Harbour, North of Visakhapatnam on October 12, 2014. (PIB Photo)