413 AP pilgrims' fate not yet known

413 AP pilgrims

Unofficial estimate puts the figure at 1,107 Some of them may be returning or staying in safe places ...

Unofficial estimate puts the figure at 1,107
  • Some of them may be returning or staying in safe places
  • About 50 pilgrims staying near Gangotri: Guntur Collector
Hyderabad: Though relief and rescue operations have picked up momentum, the fate of hundreds of pilgrims from Andhra Pradesh who are stranded in the rain and flood ravaged Uttarakhand is not yet known.
According to official figures released by the State government on Tuesday, about 2,616 pilgrims are reported to have gone for Char Dham Yatra. Of them, 1,239 have returned to their respective districts and 933 are yet to return but have been reported safe. Four-hundred and thirteen (413) pilgrims are still missing and 14 are said to have died. But unofficial figures indicate that about 1,107 pilgrims are still missing and their whereabouts are not yet known. Piligrams
In Badrinath alone, about 400 pilgrims are reportedly stranded, according to TDP Member of Parliament Ramesh Rathod. He is the only leader from the State to have reached Badrinath. On behalf of the party, he distributed Rs 50,000 to the stranded pilgrims and assured that all necessary measures for their safe return would be taken. On the other hand, the State Commissioner for Disaster Management, T Radha, said the number of pilgrims who have not returned but reported safe are either travelling or staying at different places like New Delhi, Dehradun, Haridwar, Badrinath and Rishikesh.
Meanwhile, the Indian Air Force has pressed into service the specially trained elite commando team called Garud. A 20-member team has reached Gauchar relief camp to rescue people from areas where the weather and soil conditions are not suitable for landing helicopters.
The commandos will rescue the pilgrims with the help of ropes and will move them to safer places from where choppers will airlift them to the base camp.
The Resident Commissioner AP Bhavan Sanjay Kumar on Tuesday informed the State government that 81 pilgrims had reached the Bhavan since Monday night and they were given free breakfast and lunch. He said round the clock medical check- up is being provided and two Resident Medical Officers are on 24X7 duty. Arrangements have been made for transportation of 19 pilgrims by flight and 16 by train to different parts of the State. Financial aid of Rs 5,000 has been provided to 60 pilgrims. Four teams (10 people each) were sent to Dehradun and Haridwar to extend assistance to the stranded pilgrims from Andhra Pradesh. Guntur District Collector informed that about 50 pilgrims were staying at Adi Shankaracharya Shikshana Sansthan near Gangotri and were suffering due to non- availability of food and water. AP Bhavan official has been informed about this and asked to help them.
Emotional scenes at railway station
Hyderabad: Emotional scenes were witnessed as another group of the city based pilgrims returned safely from Uttarakhand late on Tuesday night. The pilgrims from different parts of the city landed here by different trains. Seventeen pilgrims came by a flight as TDP had arranged for their tickets. TDP MLA Payyavula Keshav received them at Rajiv Gandhi International Airport. Soon after reaching here, the pilgrims burst into tears on seeing their near and dear ones and family members.
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