No end in sight for stranded tourists' woes

No end in sight for stranded tourists
Highlights

Rain hampers rescue work by military Food and water become scarce Disease may break out any time ...

  • Rain hampers rescue work by military
  • Food and water become scarce
  • Disease may break out any time
  • Choppers readied to ferry the marooned
  • State officials in constant touch with their counterparts

Hyderabad: The travails of over 500 Telugu people stranded near Daras areas of Uttar Kasi in Uttarakhand have worsened as they have run out of food packets they had been carrying with them. At the end of the third day on Monday, and the rains continuously battering, they found it difficult to have access to even safe drinking water, not to speak of the much needed square meal to survive.

Though a handful of military personnel and five proclains landed in the area on Monday afternoon, they were of little help as the rocks and mud blocking the road was so much that it may take days to remove. Torrential rain, coupled raging rivulets, are hampering the rescue work. The rescue machinery could barely reach the spot and manage to begin the work only on Monday evening.

Meanwhile, Marri Sashidhar Reddy, Vice-Chairman of the National Disaster Management Authority, New Delhi, said ten choppers, army and para-military forces had been readied to ferry the stranded tourists. "Due to inclement weather, the helicopters could not head towards the Tehri-Garhwal region. Once the sky is clear, they will take off" he told the media in New Delhi.

Though the AP State government had announced that altogether 25 people had been washed away in floods, there was no information of casualties from the State he said. "I got information a family belonging to one Mr Surjeet Agarwal of Banjara Hills in Hyderabad has stranded somewhere en route Kedaranath. We are in touch with them along with hundreds of others who were marooned in and around Tehri district" Sashidhar Reddy said.

On the instructions of the Chief Minister, Chief Secretary P K Mohanty has been in continuous contact with Uttarakhand chief secretary, home secretary and Uttar Kasi Collector Rajesh Kumar since Sunday. Rajesh Kumar has informed Mohanty that 20 relief camps are being set up to accommodate about 5000 stranded people, many of them from Andhra Pradesh, between Dunda Market andNalupari on Gangotri Road. All of them are being provided with water, food and medical assistance.

Rajesh Kumar also informed Mohanty that about 200 to 300 people from Andhra Pradesh were also stranded between Nalupari - Darasuband Road and a hotel is available there with required food and shelter. The District Collectors of Nalgonda and East Godavari are also in constant touch with Rajesh Kumar, who hails from Guntur District. All efforts are being made to clear the landslides and as soon they are removed, all the pilgrims and tourists will be sent to their respective States.

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Uttarakhand CM assures all help Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy on Monday spoke over telephone to Uttarakhand Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna and requested him to make all efforts for the safety of the tourists and pilgrims. He also urged his Uttarakhand counterpart to provide water, food, medical assistance and shelter to the tourists and pilgrims and to make arrangements to get them back to Andhra Pradesh.

Bahuguna informed the Chief Minister that all the stranded people were safe and relief camps are being organized. "Required food, water and shelter are also being given and the road blockages are being cleared" Bahuguna told Kiran Kumar.

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