Rescue ops till last pilgrim saved : CM
Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy has directed that teams from the State should work in Uttarkhand till the last pilgrim returns to Andhra Pradesh...
Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy has directed that teams from the State should work in Uttarkhand till the last pilgrim returns to Andhra Pradesh safely. They should get the stranded pilgrims back either by chartering an aircraft or by providing air tickets to them. The Chief Minister held a detailed review of the rescue and relief operations of Uttarakhand flood victims with Chief Secretary P K Mohanty and senior officials here on Friday. Kiran Kumar Reddy was informed that NDRF, ITBP and Army personnel were intensifying their operations which are expected to be over in two days. Helicopters are making continuous sorties to airlift the pilgrims from hilly areas. AP officials are being passed on any information on missing pilgrims by the district officials. The details are also being shared with the Army and Uttarakhand government.
It is learnt that all those stranded at Harsil, Gangotri, Jamunotri and Dharasu areas have been rescued. No one is stranded now in Uttarkasi area. However, at Badrinath camps there about 2,500 pilgrims hailing from all over the country. Mohanty also contacted the Chief Secretary of Uttarakhand, Collectors of Haridwar, Uttarkasi and Dekhradun, and the AP officials deputed to Delhi, Dehradun, Haridwar and Rishikesh. The senior officials deputed to Uttarakhand are as follows: Dr T Radha, Commissioner of Disaster Management, Principal Secretary (Irrigation) Adityanath Das, Pollution Control Board Secretary Sanjay Kumar, Warangal Municipal Commissioner Vivek Yadav, and Tarun Joshi, a DCP in Hyderabad.
In addition, around 30 officials have been deputed to take care of the rescue and relief operations. They have been working continuously for last 11 days. Officials informed that 2,747 pilgrims of Andhra Pradesh were undertaking Chardham Yatra at the time of floods as. So far, 2,400 pilgrims have been rescued and safely sent to their homes. Around 400 pilgrims are reported to be still stuck in Uttarakhand. This includes 119 pilgrims not in contact with their families. The State government has arranged for free road transport, food, accommodation to 1,900 rescued pilgrims. In all, 20 SUVs are being used to transport pilgrims to Rishikesh and Haridwar from the hilly locations. Chartered flights from Dehradun to Hyderabad are arranged.
The first flight arrived here on Wednesday with 105 passengers. In addition, till date 80 passengers have been arranged air tickets for their onward journey. Chartered flights are scheduled for today/early morning tomorrow also. 2 helicopters have been hired and pressed into service to rescue pilgrims in addition to the operations going on by the Armed Forces. Andhra Pradesh officials are coordinating with Uttarakhand government regarding, requests of pilgrims and their families. More than 700 calls have been received and action has been taken on the requests. 1599 pilgrims have been provided with boarding/lodging by AP Bhawan.
The State Government has sent more than 700 pilgrims by providing free train tickets & organised free special trains from Delhi to Andhra Pradesh. About 1148 pilgrims have been given medical treatment so far. 10 patients have been shifted by ambulance to Delhi. Rs.5000 is provided to all those who requested for clothing, etc. Rs.2000 has been provided towards train tickets to those who wanted to avail assistance. Now only 5 pilgrims are in AP Bhawan. The State Government is sending pilgrims directly from Dehradun to Hyderabad. Family members of those missing are requested to provide full details along with photos of those missing so that Army will be contacted from tracing them.
State Govt charters two more flights for pilgrims
Hyderabad: The State Government has arranged two flights for air-lifting the stranded Telugu pilgrims from Uttarakhand. One flight was due to leave Dehradun on Friday night at 11.15 and the second flight on Saturday at 5.45 pm. The rescue teams deployed at Dehradun are reviewing the rescue operation and searching all the rehabilitation camps and hospitals for identifying the Andhra pilgrims besides being in touch with the officials at Uttarkhand central control room and military official dealing with the rescue operations. The 24-hour helpline is receiving reminder calls for missing pilgrims. The centre has received 37 reminder calls on Friday and the help line team enquired 120 complaints over telephone.
Naidu 'sorry' to nation
TDP president N Chandrababu Naidu on Friday tendered an unconditional apology to the nation for the bizarre brawl involving two of the TDP MPs Ramesh Rathod and K Narayan Rao with a Congress MP, V Hanumanth Rao at Dehradun airport two days ago. Speaking to newspersons, Naidu said the incident was avoidable and unfortunate. "I felt very bad. It was not the time to fight against each other. I do offer my unconditional apology for the incident", he said. The TDP leader said that his party always stood ahead in providing help to Telugu people who faced troubles in other states.