Abheek Barman: Reports say that Modi pulled off this coup with a fleet of 80 Innovas. How did these cars manage to reach places like Kedarnath, across roads that have been washed away, over landslides that have wrecked most access routes?
But let us assume Modi's Innovas had wings as well as helicopter rotors. Including the driver, an Innova is designed to carry seven people. In a tough situation, assume you could pack nine passengers into each car. In that case, a convoy of 80 Innovas could ferry 720 people down the mountains to Dehradun at one go. To get 15,000 people down, the convoy would need to make 21 round trips.
The distance between Dehradun and Kedarnath is 221 km. So 21 trips up and down would mean that each Innova would have to travel nearly 9,300 km.
It takes longer to travel in the hills than in the plains. So, assuming an average speed of 40 km per hour, it would take 233 hours of driving to pull off the feat.
This assumes non-stop driving, without a second's rest to identify the Gujaratis to be rescued and keeping the rest of the distressed folk at bay, or any time to load and unload the vehicles. And forget about any downtime for the gallant rescuers.
That is nearly 10 days of miraculous work. And Modi pulled it off in a day.
Also: Madhu Kishwar’s article: In Defence of Rambo: The editor of Manushi argues Narendra Modi-led rescue efforts in Uttarakhand are not publicity gimmicks