With flash floods causing devastation in Uttarakhand, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday assured the state government of all possible help as he directed the Defence Ministry to deploy helicopters to rescue people stranded in remote areas.
The assurance was given by Singh when Uttarkhand chief minister Vijay Bahuguna met him in the wake of the natural calamity and sought Centre's help to tackle the situation.
Earlier, Congress president Sonia Gandhi talked to the Prime Minister for providing adequate relief from the Centre to the victims of flash floods and landslide in the party-ruled state.
Gandhi also wrote to the chief minister asking him to keep her apprised of the relief work undertaken there.
Torrential rains led to flash floods, cloudbursts and landslides in the hilly state, killing as many as 31 people and leaving thousands stranded on the Char Dham Yatra route that takes pilgrims to Gangotri, Yamunotri, Badrinath and Kedarnath. An estimated 20,000 people have been affected.
Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj spoke to home minister Sushilkumar Shinde on Wednesday and urged him to evacuate pilgrims stranded in Uttarkashi region of Uttarakhand by requisitioning Army and IAF helicopters.
The pilgrims were trapped after the floods wiped out roads, cutting off 80 Uttarkashi villages from the rest of Uttarakhand.