Even as news of the receding flood waters in Jammu and Kashmir has brought relief to relatives of stranded tourists from Maharashtra, the count of state residents in the valley has crossed 300, of which more than 184 are still untraceable, according to information available with various district administrations.
Around 122 Mumbai residents belonging to a multinational company have been evacuated to safety in Pahalgam. Several other city residents, who were rescued by the armed forces, are in transit to New Delhi or Mumbai.
The state, meanwhile, has decided to send a team to assist rescue operations of its residents.
The control room at the Disaster Management Unit (DMU) of the Mantralaya has been flooded with calls from the distressed relatives who have not been able to establish contact with their loved ones for two to three days.
“Out of the 184 who are still untraceable, about 60 each are from Mumbai and Sangali, while the rest are from various other districts, including Pune, Aurangabad and Satara. We have decided to send a team of three people, including a medical officer, to help the various agencies in rescuing tourists from the state,” said Sridutta Kamat, state project officer at the DMU.
With regard to the 122 MNC employees, an official from the department said, “Some of them have been air lifted to Pathankot, while others are still at a hotel in Pehalgaum. Though they were supposed to reach Mumbai by Thursday evening, we have been told by central agencies that their departure may be delayed.”
The officer said three other tourists from Mumbai have returned to the city independetly.
The state government has been coordinating with the Indian Army, the Air Force and National Disaster Response Force in rescue operations of stranded tourists.
“Suresh Dhas, minister of state for relief and rehabilitation, who visited the valley, has successfully coordinated with officers from the agencies engaged in rescue operations,” said Suresh Khade, under-secretary, relief and rehabilitation department.