The natural disaster in Kedarnath is giving sleepless nights to many families in Barnala. Three couples of Barnala, who had gone on pilgrimage to the hill state, have gone missing, and their families said the helpline numbers were useless.
The missing couples are Rajesh and Vandana Jindal; Mukesh and Neena Garg; and Pawan and Sheetla Goyal.
To pay obeisance at the Kedarnath temple, the couples had gone together in an Innova vehicle on June 9. The last time the families heard from them was June 16, when they confirmed having done darshan and told their families regarding their scheduled departure after some time. But, their whereabouts are not known since then.
Thereafter, the children of the missing persons had a talk with the driver, Gora, on June 18 at 4pm. He told them that he was standing in the parking of Gaurikund and still waiting for the pilgrims. It was the last link, and thereafter even the driver's cell phone was switched off.
Rajesh's son, Kinshuk Jindal, said all his efforts to contact various information centres proved futile. He said the helpline numbers were useless.
Pawan's son, Narinder Goyal, said it was his parents' desire to go on the pilgrimage. Now, I don't know how to look for my aged parents. I want my parents back in good health."
Honey Garg has not lost hope for his parents Mukesh and Neena, but deep down he apprehends something bad.
The families are repeatedly contacting the helpline numbers and browsing the websites for details of the rescued persons. They have also met the DC and SSP to apprise them of their plight.
DC Indu Malhotra and SSP Snehdeep Sharma said they had jointly sent emails to the CM and other authorities of Uttarakhand, but no response had been received so far. Air Force authorities had also been informed, they said.
Local MLA Kewal Singh Dhillon assured them to take the matter up with home minister Sushilkumar Shinde.
MP Vijay Inder Singla said he was in constant touch with MP Satpal Maharaj, who was overseeing the rescue operations. He said he was trying his best.