The main building of Gurdwara Sahib of Gobind Ghat in Uttarakhand is safe and none of the 'Birs' (religious scriptures) of Guru Granth Sahib were lost due to rains as was feared, Chairman of Uttarakhand Minorities Commission Narinder Jeet Singh Bindra said today.
Bindra, who is also the Vice Chairman of Sri Hemkunt Sahib management Trust (SHSMT), claimed over phone that there was no loss of life reported so far, even though many vehicles have been washed away.
Refuting media reports Bindra claimed, "There is no loss of 'Birs' of Guru Granth Sahib, we have shifted birs to higher places."
He also refuted the reports about Darbar Hall of Gurdwara Gobind Ghat being washed away.
He said, "few rooms of Gurdwara complex were washed away and main building where prayers of 'Birs' of Guru Granth Sahib is done, is safe as it is on higher place."
"We are in touch with the staff of SHSMT through satellite phones and getting updates from the ground zero", he added.
He, however, appealed to all pilgrims and their family members, in Punjab and other parts of country, not to panic and stay calm as they have been working round the clock for the safety of the pilgrims.
He appreciated the working of SHSMT staff as they have forcibly evacuated the pilgrims to higher and safer places.
He said that the SHSMT has made arrangements for about 9000 pilgrims in Gobind ghat.
"We have sufficient food and medicines for them even though many of our food and medicines have been washed away", he added.
The bridge connecting Gobind ghat and Joshimath was washed away and army has been working to built temporary bridge to evacuate the stranded pilgrims.
He said that as many as about 2500 pilgrims have already evacuated on Monday and more would be evacuated today.
"It is virtually not possible to airlift all the pilgrims and with the help of army and ITBP we have been working on alternative arrangements," he said.
He said that Army has pressed 10 helicopters for the rescue operations and we have been coordinating with them.
"It is difficult to work in incessant rains", he said adding that we had been supplying food packets to army at the least to airdrop these packets where pilgrims have been stranded.
The weather was clear in the morning but it has become cloudy as day proceeded further, he said.