Led by Lt Gen Anil Chait, General officer commanding in chief (GOC-in-C), Indian Army’s rescue teams accompanied hundreds of people on foot taking them to Pandukesh war and Govind Ghat in the flood-hit Uttarakhand on Thursday.
The men-in-uniform lauded people’s courage in order to motivate them to undertake journey by foot on road where vehicles cannot run and sorties are limited. While the 12 km road stretch from Badrinath to Joshimath was undertaken on foot, the remaining was covered by vehicles.
Evacuation of stranded pilgrims continued from both Badrinath and Harsil regions. Nearly 532 stranded people have been evacuated on Thursday by air from Harsil leaving just 100 to 150 locals to be shifted. About 450 people were evacuated by helicopters from Badrinath. Nearly 900 people set out on foot, while 244 have already reached Joshimath, the rest are on their way and expected to reach by late Thursday night.
Evacuation also continued in Pithoragarh district of Kumaon region of Uttarakhand. As many as 100 people were evacuated from isolated and cut-off places and were brought to Dharchula where they were given food, water and medical aid by the Army. Hemkund axis has been totally cleared of all pilgrims. Army veterinary team returned to Joshimath after providing medical assistance to stranded animals and mules between Govindghat and Ghagria.
The Army also constructed another temporary footbridge at Sonprayag for use by local population. More than 8,500 Army personnel and 13 helicopters have been pressed into service to provide rescue and relief in Uttarakhand.