At least 3500 pilgrims stranded at Gobind Dham in Uttarakhand have been safely evacuated and brought back either at Gobind Ghat (Joshi Math) with the co-operation and joint efforts of district administration of Math, Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and state team of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF).
A S Miglani, head of the special team deputed by the Punjab government for the evacuation of pilgrims from Gobind Ghat and Gobind Dham enroute Sri Hemkunt Sahib, said that all the pilgrims struck up at Gobind Dham have been rescued and moved safely to Gobind Ghat and Joshi Math.
He said that nearly 1500 pilgrims have been evacuated from Gobind Dham through chopper and the remaining 2000 have been made to cross the makeshift bridge between Gobind Ghat and Gobind Dham by foot to reach Gobind Ghat.
The district administration of Joshi Math has accorded top priority to bring back the women, children and aged persons through chopper while others especially the young were asked to return Gobind Ghat by foot, he said.
Likewise, 35-40 youths who were struck up at Gobind Dham on Sunday refused to return Gobind Ghat by foot and insisted to go back through chopper and thus they too were made to return through special chopper today, he said.
He said that not even a single pilgrim was left at Gobind Dham and all of them have returned to Gobind Ghat/Joshi Math, from there they would further proceed to their respective destinations in Punjab either by their own vehicles or the Punjab Roadways Buses.
Miglani said that all the pilgrims who have returned back from Gobind Dham to Gobind Ghat or Joshi Math would be positively sent back to Punjab tomorrow.
He apprised that the few pilgrims who had been camping at Gobind Ghat for last few days and were adamant to pay obeisance at Sri Hemkunt Sahib have been now allowed by the district administration to proceed further for the Darshan of holy shrine with the personal intervention of special team.
He, however, said that the Uttrakhand meteorological department has predicted fresh rains and inclement weather in the valley during next few days.