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Over 500 tourists from AP stranded in Uttarakhand due to floods They were confined to a road stretch as...

Over 500 tourists from AP stranded in Uttarakhand due to floods

  • They were confined to a road stretch as landslides blocked their way
  • No food, no water; condition of children, aged pathetic
  • Stranded tourists pour out their woes to Hans India over phone
  • Nalgonda and E Godavari District Collectors in touch with officials

Hyderabad: Over 500 tourists from Andhra Pradesh visiting Uttarakhand were left stranded as incessant rains across the state resulted in flash floods triggering landslides. They were confined to a road stretch that was cut off with the main land. Their buses they were travelling in could not move either forward or backward because the road was washed away in heavy rain. The condition of children and elderly people marooned for the last 36 hours has been pathetic as they were forced to starve for want of food and drinking water.

About 350 tourists from Kakinada, Rajahmundry, Mandapeta, Vijayawada and 150 from Miryalaguda in Nalgonda district left for North India tour on June 3. They reached Haridwar by train from Vijayawada. The tourists from AP hired buses to visit various places and started off for Yamunothri after visiting Badrinath, Kedarnath and Gangothri. However, they called off their visit for Yamunothri due to bad weather and headed for Rishikesh.

Unfortunately, the downpour continued incessantly due to which the mud roads were either washed away or badly damaged. Landslides also added to their misery. They had been confined to their buses since Saturday afternoon. Konduru Srinivas, one of the stranded tourists from Miryalaguda, told The Hans India over phone that no official had come to their rescue for the past two days. "At least 5,000 tourists from different parts of the country are stranded here. Children are suffering from cough, cold and fevers. There is no food and drinking water. We are worried for our starving kids. People here say the buses will not move unless army steps in and restores the roads," Srinivas said.

The tourists from AP were scheduled to resume their return journey on June 18 from Delhi. But it appears the journey would be delayed due to the prevailing situation, he said. A deputy executive engineer in the AP Housing Department, Nagabhushanam, who is also among the visiting tourists told The Hans India that the food supplies brought by the tour operators exhausted by Sunday evening. Unless the roads were restored on an emergency basis, children and elderly people would be forced to starve, he said.

Reports from Rajahmundry said more than 70 tourists boarded Swarna Jayanthi Express on June 2 and reached Delhi from where they left for Saraswathi Pushkarams in private buses. Their buses were caught in the heavy rains and got stranded while returning from Gangothri due to landslides. One Mylavarapu Naresh, whose relatives were among the tourists stranded in Uttarakhand, told The Hans India that his parents did not eat anything since Saturday evening as the food carried by them was already consumed.

He also said most of the tourists were elderly people and they badly need water and food immediately. "I have asked my relatives to use one cell phone and preserve other phones to save battery so that they can maintain communication," Naresh said. Kurmala Radha, another relative of the stranded travelers, urged the government to make arrangements for food and water immediately as the tourists had nothing to eat since Saturday.

Nalgonda District Collector N Mukteswar Rao and East Godavari District Collector, Neetu Kumari Prasad told The Hans India that they spoke to the Dehradun District Collector over phone and sought relief material for the stranded tourists from Andhra Pradesh besides taking measures for their rescue. "The Uttarakhand official has assured that the rescue and relief operations have already begun and necessary help will be provided to the stranded tourists as soon as possible," Mukteswar Rao said.

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