Deepest sympathies with the people of Uttarakhand: PM

New Delhi, Aug 15 (IANS) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Thursday expressed his "deepest sympathies" to the people of Uttarakhand and said that the entire country was with them in their moment of crisis.

"Today is certainly a day of joy for us. But on this celebration of Independence we also feel pain in our hearts that our brothers and sisters in Uttarakhand had to face devastation about two months back," the prime minister said in his address to the nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort on the country's 67th Independence Day.

"Our deepest sympathies are with all the families that suffered loss of life or property. I want to assure the people of Uttarakhand today that the whole country stands with them in this moment of crisis," he said.

The prime minister said government is working with all the resources at its command to rehabilitate those whose houses have been destroyed and rebuild damaged infrastructure.

"Our army, paramilitary forces and numerous officers and staff of the central and state governments worked in difficult conditions in partnership with the common people to perform an outstanding task in providing relief to those who were stranded," he said.

"We especially pay homage to the officers and men of the Air Force, ITBP (Indo-Tibetan Border Police Force) and NDRF (National Disaster Response Force) who sacrificed their lives to save others," he added.

Flash floods and landslides following a cloudburst devastated the state and claimed thousands of lives in June.


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