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Bad weather hampers rescue operations to Kailash Manasarovar pilgrims

Bad weather hampers rescue operations to Kailash Manasarovar pilgrims
Highlights

Telugu pilgrims, who went to Kailash Manasarovar pilgrimage, were stranded for the third consecutive day on Wednesday as the Nepalese authorities...

Vijayawada: Telugu pilgrims, who went to Kailash Manasarovar pilgrimage, were stranded for the third consecutive day on Wednesday as the Nepalese authorities could not continue the airlifting operations due to bad weather at Hilsar, Similkot where most Telugu pilgrims have been staying since Monday.

Moving from Hilsar and Similkot to Nepalgunj is the only option for the safe return of Indian pilgrims. It is a three-hour drive from Nepalgunj to Lucknow, capital of Uttar Pradesh.

It is estimated that about 100 Telugu pilgrims have been stranded for three days in Nepal due to bad weather. The local authorities have arranged food and shelter. But, some of them are suffering due to non-availability of medicines.

Families of the stranded pilgrims in various parts of Andhra Pradesh have been eagerly waiting for their return. It may be recalled that about 100 pilgrims from Andhra Pradesh went to Kailash Manasarovar pilgrimage during the last week of June.

Some of them were stranded at Hilsar and Similkot while going to Mansarovar and some of them while on the return journey. Over 1500 Indian pilgrims including Telugu pilgrims were stranded in Nepal.

Indian and Nepalese authorities successfully airlifted about 200 pilgrims during the last two days - Tuesday and Wednesday - using special flights and some helicopters. But, they suspended the services suddenly due to bad weather. Consequently, hundreds of pilgrims are stuck at Hilsar and Similkot.

The Andhra Pradesh government had sent a five-member team to Lucknow and Nepalgunj to assist the Telugu pilgrims. They are working in coordination with the Indian Embassy in Nepal, Army and Nepalese authorities.

Family members of a pilgrim who died in Nepal are waiting for the body in Kakinada. Grandhi Veera Venkata Subba Rao, civil engineer from Kakinada, died during the pilgrimage. The Nepal government and Indian embassy have made arrangements to send the body of Subba Rao to Kakinada.

Dr Arja Srikanth, Additional Commissioner at A P Bhavan in New Delhi, said that a special team has been sent to Nepal Gunj to assist the Telugu pilgrims.

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