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HindustanTimes Sat,02 Aug 2014

Pilgrims return home with Uttarakhand horror tales

PTI  Chandigarh, June 21, 2013
First Published: 19:17 IST(21/6/2013) | Last Updated: 19:26 IST(21/6/2013)

Shattered and still tense from their harrowed experience in Uttarakhand, pilgrims from the flood-hit state have been evacuated and are being brought back to safer regions.

About 100 people from Tamil Nadu arrived at the airport in Chennai.

Whereas, Over 100 pilgrims reached on Friday on two state owned buses from areas around the Sikh shrine of Hemkunt Sahib in Uttarakhand.

Odisha government said 80 pilgrims from the state stranded in Uttarakhand have been rescued and there was no information of any casualty.

Punjab
Over 100 pilgrims reached on Friday on two state owned buses from flood ravaged areas around the Sikh shrine of Hemkunt Sahib in Uttarakhand.

The pilgrims were received at the bus terminal here by Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal.

"Our government is prepared to render all help to the people of Uttarakhand," Badal said adding, the tragedy was not limited to Uttarakhand, but for the entire country.

The work of Army personnel in the relief and rescue operations drew full appreciation from the pilgrims.

Odisha
Odisha government said 80 pilgrims from the state stranded in flood-hit Uttarakhand have been rescued and there was no information of any casualty.

"80 pilgrims trapped in various parts of Uttarakhand have been rescued and 54 of them are on their way back home," home secretary UN Behera told reporters here.

The government does not have information on any casualty of pilgrims from the state stranded in Uttarakhand, he said amidst reports that many more devotees from Odisha are still stuck at various areas in the hill state.

Behera said the state government have made arrangements for the pilgrims to reach Dehradun.

The state government has opened a control room at Odisha Bhawan in New Delhi to assist family members of the affected.

Tamil Nadu
With relief writ large on their faces, a batch of about 100 people from Tamil Nadu stranded in rain-ravaged Uttarakhand arrived at the airport in Chennai on Friday.

Most of those who arrived here by a Spicejet flight were pilgrims and included several women. They were brought by air under the initiative of the state government, officials said.

State transport minister Senthil Balaji and Tourism Minister Shanmuganathan received them at the Kamaraj Domestic terminal.

The pilgrims hailing from different parts of the state thanked the state and central governments for their efforts in helping them.

Chief minister J Jayalalithaa had yesterday said her government would take all steps on 'war-footing' to bring back the 399 stranded tourists who hail from various parts of the State and the government would bear the transportation charges.

Rajasthan
Around 250 people have been evacuated and are being brought back, but the number of missing people may go up as the control room set up by the state government is frequently receiving missing reports, its in-charge Mahesh Sharma said.

"Close to 100 people have arrived here by special buses and arrangements for remaining people are also made in Dehradun by the Rajasthan government," Sharma said.

Chief minister Ashok Gehlot, who arrived in Dehradun today, said authorities have been able to establish contact with close to 1,000 people.

Rajasthan government has set up fourrelief camps in rain-ravaged Uttarakhand and is coordinating with the local administration for the rescue of over 2,000 people from the state who are still trapped.

"We have set up four camps in Rishikesh, Haridwar and at Jolly Grant airport in Dehradun, and coordinating with local authorities for evacuation of those who are trapped," Principal Secretary (Medical and Health) Deepak Upreti said over phone.


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