The Army has shifted some 18,000 people stranded at various places in the rain-ravaged Uttarakhand to safer places braving adverse conditions, a senior officer said on Saturday.
"About 8,500 Army jawans are continuously working to locate the people still stranded in most difficult of places and shift them to safer areas and so far some 18,000 people from Gangotri, Joshimath, Badrinath, Kedarnath, Pindari glacier among other places have been evacuated," GOC-in-Chief of Central Command, Lt Gen Anil Chait told reporters in Lucknow.
As many as 19 medical centres and rest houses have been set up for providing medical aid and rest to the rescued people, Chait said, adding about 40,000 square km area in the hill state has been affected due to flood fury in the rivers caused by cloud burst and about 400 km road network in the Char Dham route has been affected.
He said that Army has all the required resources to extend help to the people there and they are being rescued by erecting smaller bridges and through other means in the most challenging of situations.
In Gangotri region, some 500 people have been rescued, the Lt General said, adding that yesterday he had met the Uttarakhand Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna and discussed the ongoing works with him.
Expressing hope that all the people in Gangotri area would be evacuated by Sunday, he said that a helipad has been set up there.
The Army officer said since Friday, the jawans have helped 728 stranded people talk to their family members and have extended help to about 1,000 people in Mangal Patti area from where the process to shift people to Gauri Kund has started.
The GOC-in-chief assured that the force would not disappoint the people and every located human life would be saved.
He said that in Pindari glacier, a group of 45 children has been saved while efforts were on to locate another group.
Some people stranded on the bridge on the Alaknanda on the road from Badrinath to Joshimath and Rudraprayag have been saved, Lt Gen Chaith said, adding that those left in Gadariya and Govindham would also be saved by Saturday night.