225 people from Maharashtra still missing, Maha CM wants more choppers | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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225 people from Maharashtra still missing, Maha CM wants more choppers

mumbai Updated: Jun 25, 2013 10:00 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Prithviraj Chavan

CM Prithviraj Chavan, who is camped in Delhi for the last three days, met his counterpart in Uttaranchal and sought attention towards tourists and pilgrims from Maharashtra.

The state government has also approached the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) for a dedicated 40-seater helicopter for faster evacuation.

Chavan said in Delhi on Monday that with the help of five camps in various parts of the Uttaranchal, teams of 49 state officials and doctors are on their toes in the rescue operation.

“We have also offered financial and logistical help to the Himachal government. Though the Indian Air Force aircrafts could not operate today, small choppers of the Uttaranchal government are in operation,” he said.

The Maharashtra government had hired two helicopters with the capacity of seven to eight persons, but the second helicopter could not reach there as the pilot was found to be unqualified for flying in hilly areas.

“When we contacted our team of officials there led by principal secretary RA Rajeev, they sought the second helicopter on an urgent basis.

We have requested the NDMA for the bigger helicopter,” said IA Kundan from the state disaster management unit.

According to latest figures, 2,961 persons from the state were reported to be stranded.

Of them 2,702 are reported safe — 1,027 have returned home and 1,337 are on their way back.

The district collectorates have been directed to record the names of people from their districts who are missing as per the government records. Tour operators also have been contacted to zero in on the exact no. of persons from Maharashtra.

3 pilgrims from Maharashtra have been declared dead so far. Kundan said rescue teams of the state government are emphasising on evacuating pilgrims from places like Badrinath to safer places, and then to the camps.