Pilgrims being provided with air-bridge service between Pithoragarh and Gunji during the annual Kailash Mansarovar Yatra, in Pithoragarh on Wednesday.(PTI File Photo)
Pilgrims being provided with air-bridge service between Pithoragarh and Gunji during the annual Kailash Mansarovar Yatra, in Pithoragarh on Wednesday.(PTI File Photo)

Kailash Mansarovar yatra: 1,600 Indian pilgrims stranded after landslides, rains

At least two Kailash Mansarovar pilgrims died — one of possible high-altitude sickness and another of heart attack — and their bodies were airlifted by helicopter, officials said.
By Anil Giri and Jayanth Jacob | Hindustan Times, Kathmandu and New Delhi
UPDATED ON JUL 04, 2018 07:24 AM IST

Almost 1,600 Indian pilgrims have been stranded in Nepal and Tibet while returning from the Kailash-Mansarovar Yatra after heavy rainfall over the past few days caused landslides and hampered rescue efforts, officials said on Tuesday.

At least two pilgrims died — one of possible high-altitude sickness and another of heart attack — and their bodies were airlifted by helicopter, officials said. Inclement weather and difficulties associated with flying at altitudes of more than 3,000 metres continued to affect rescue efforts on Tuesday.

About 600 Indian nationals were stranded at Simikot in western Nepal and another 350 in Hilsa, close to the border with Tibet, while some 500 to 700 more were stuck on the Tibetan side, said Pranav Ganesh, first secretary at the Indian embassy in Kathmandu, who is overseeing the rescue operation.

A total of 158 pilgrims were airlifted in nine commercial flights from Simikot to Nepalgunj, a city near the Indian border and a three-hour drive from Lucknow.

Another 200 pilgrims were moved from Hilsa to Simikot, the headquarters of Humla district that is comparatively safer.

“Besides two deaths on Monday and Tuesday, no major health risk has been reported. Food is available and the Nepal government has provided paramedical facilities to the pilgrims,” Ganesh said.

The bodies of Leela Narayanan Mandredath of Kerala, who died in Simikot on Monday, of possible high altitude sickness, and Satya Lakshmi Narayana Subba Rao Grandhi Veera Venkata of Andhra Pradesh, who died of heart attack in Tibet, were airlifted by helicopter to Kathmandu and Nepalgunj respectively. Steps were being taken for repatriating the bodies to India, the Indian embassy said in a statement.

This is the largest rescue operation mounted in Nepal since the 2015 earthquakes. The three locations where the Indians are stranded are at an altitude of about 3,000 metres and the heavy downpours in Nepal since Monday have hampered efforts to airlift them.

Officials said the situation is currently under control and they expected all the pilgrims stranded in Nepal and Tibet to be evacuated over the next three to four days, provided the weather conditions improve.

“As soon as the weather clears, we will rescue them in helicopters and bring them to Nepalgunj,” Ganesh said. Thousands of pilgrims use the Nepalgunj-Humla-Hilsa-Tibet route to travel to Kailash-Mansarovar as it is shorter and more affordable.

External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted that the Nepal government had been requested to provide army helicopters to evacuate the Indians. The Indian embassy has deployed representatives at Simikot and Nepalgunj to liaise with pilgrims and to ensure they have food and lodging, she said.

Health check-ups were done for all elderly pilgrims in Simikot and they were being provided medical help, while Nepalese police in Hilsa had been requested to provide assistance to the Indians, she said. Hotlines providing information in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam have been set up for the pilgrims and their families.

The Indian embassy has asked all tour operators to hold pilgrims back on the Tibetan side since medical and civic facilities in Nepal are inadequate, officials said. The operators were told to give priority to evacuating pilgrims from Hilsa, where the medical and communications infrastructure is inadequate.

The embassy is also looking at several alternatives for evacuating Indians from Simikot, including the use of three alternative routes though these appear to be as difficult as the Simikot-Nepalgunj route, officials said.

Weather conditions across Nepal have worsened since Monday morning following heavy rains that claimed at least a dozen lives.

Hundreds of Indian pilgrims travel to the 6,638-metre Mount Kailash, located near Mansarovar lake in China’s Tibet Autonomous Region, every year via Nepal and Tibet. Hindu, Buddhist and Jain pilgrims believe circumambulating the holy mountain brings good fortune.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close
In the second phase of the vaccination drive, 3,005,039 people over 60 years of age and 460,782 between 45 and 59 years with comorbidities have received their first dose of the vaccine.(Reuters)
In the second phase of the vaccination drive, 3,005,039 people over 60 years of age and 460,782 between 45 and 59 years with comorbidities have received their first dose of the vaccine.(Reuters)

Cumulative Covid-19 vaccinations cross 20-million mark: Government

By hindustantimes.com | Written by Srivatsan K C, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 06, 2021 11:35 PM IST
India has administered 20,662,073 doses of the vaccine so far of which 6,972,859 healthcare workers have received the first dose and 3,522,671 have got the second dose.
Close
Anurag Thakur said the government welcomes innovation and new technology, but with caution, so that citizens get due protection and national security is ensured.(ANI)
Anurag Thakur said the government welcomes innovation and new technology, but with caution, so that citizens get due protection and national security is ensured.(ANI)

Issue of national security key as govt decides on

By Rajeev Jayaswal, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 06, 2021 11:20 PM IST
  • Cryptocurrency is, however, not legally banned and the government is in the process of enacting a law on this matter.
Close
Prime Minister Narendra Modi visits a stall at an exhibition during the Combined Commanders Conference in Kevadia on Saturday. (ANI)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi visits a stall at an exhibition during the Combined Commanders Conference in Kevadia on Saturday. (ANI)

Need to develop military into ‘future force’: PM Modi at top commanders’ meet

UPDATED ON MAR 06, 2021 11:17 PM IST
  • The PM asked the three services to rid themselves of legacy systems and practices that are no longer relevant.
Close
The desk would provide support to file cases in offences related to violence or discrimination.(PTI File Photo )
The desk would provide support to file cases in offences related to violence or discrimination.(PTI File Photo )

Transgender help desk set up at police station in Hyderabad

PTI, Hyderabad
PUBLISHED ON MAR 06, 2021 11:09 PM IST
Noting that the idea of the help desk came from the community itself during a meeting 10 days back, police said the entire credit for the initiative must go to the community.
Close
On the basis of the young man's interrogation, the police also arrested his accomplice Vishnu Bishnoi (23) and recovered the illegal pistol from his possession. (GETTY IMAGES) (Image used for representation).
On the basis of the young man's interrogation, the police also arrested his accomplice Vishnu Bishnoi (23) and recovered the illegal pistol from his possession. (GETTY IMAGES) (Image used for representation).

In Rajasthan’s Jodhpur district, 2 arrested for brandishing gun at wedding

PUBLISHED ON MAR 06, 2021 11:07 PM IST
  • According to the police, some young men were dancing at the DJ night in a wedding ceremony, during which one of the accused pointed the pistol at the forehead of another youth.
Close
Farmers sitting near their tractor as they take part in a road blockade to mark the 100th day of the protest against the new farm laws on a highway near Kundli Border on Saturday. (ANI Photo)
Farmers sitting near their tractor as they take part in a road blockade to mark the 100th day of the protest against the new farm laws on a highway near Kundli Border on Saturday. (ANI Photo)

As farmers protest completes 100 days, Cong says ‘100 days of BJP's arrogance’

PTI, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 06, 2021 10:45 PM IST
Farmer leaders have made it clear that they would not settle for anything less than a repeal of the new agriculture laws.
Close
Entry into the courtroom for the physical hearing will require lawyers to make “special hearing passes” to be issued by the SC Registry. (HT PHOTO).
Entry into the courtroom for the physical hearing will require lawyers to make “special hearing passes” to be issued by the SC Registry. (HT PHOTO).

Supreme Court to begin limited physical hearing on trial basis from March 15

By Abraham Thomas
PUBLISHED ON MAR 06, 2021 10:25 PM IST
  • In January this year, Chief Justice of India (CJI) SA Bobde ruled out any reopening of courts for the present.
Close
The Indo-Nepal border(ANI File Photo)
The Indo-Nepal border(ANI File Photo)

Nepal Police hand over body of Indian man killed in firing in Pilibhit

PTI
PUBLISHED ON MAR 06, 2021 10:25 PM IST
Though authorities had initially said Nepalese Police had fired at three people, police said late Friday that the incident in a market in Nepal's Kanchanpur district involved four men.
Close
DMK commenced the interviews for party ticket aspirants on March 2 and completed it on Saturday.(ANI)
DMK commenced the interviews for party ticket aspirants on March 2 and completed it on Saturday.(ANI)

AIADMK, DMK yet to close deal with key allies for Tamil Nadu assembly polls

PTI, Chennai
PUBLISHED ON MAR 06, 2021 10:13 PM IST
The DMK has allotted 23 seats to allies. MDMK, Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi and CPI have got six each, the IUML three and Manithaneya Makkal Katchi two.
Close
Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Combined Commanders’ Conference in Gujarat's Kevadia on Saturday. (@narendramodi/Twitter Photo )
Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Combined Commanders’ Conference in Gujarat's Kevadia on Saturday. (@narendramodi/Twitter Photo )

At top commanders’ meet, PM Modi calls for army to become 'future force'

By hindustantimes.com | Written by Kanishka Sarkar, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 06, 2021 09:45 PM IST
Prime Minister Narendra Modi stressed the need to optimise manpower planning in both military and civilian parts of the national security architecture, according to the Prime Minister’s Office.
Close
The Union health ministry noted that Punjab along with four other states accounted for 82 per cent of the new Covid-19 cases reported in India.(HT Photo)
The Union health ministry noted that Punjab along with four other states accounted for 82 per cent of the new Covid-19 cases reported in India.(HT Photo)

Punjab reports over 1,000 daily new Covid-19 cases for second time in March

By hindustantimes.com | Written by Srivatsan K C, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 06, 2021 09:38 PM IST
The bulletin showed that the active caseload too witnessed a spike on Saturday with 7,164 patients—up from 6,661 reported on Friday.
Close
The case was first handled by Assam Police and in 2019 the investigation was taken over by NIA. (HT PHOTO)
The case was first handled by Assam Police and in 2019 the investigation was taken over by NIA. (HT PHOTO)

NIA files chargesheet against 3 Bodo militants for killing Assam police officer

PUBLISHED ON MAR 06, 2021 09:24 PM IST
  • The chargesheet was filed on Friday before a special NIA court against the accused persons-Bishnu Narzary, Nitul Daimary and Runiluish Daimary under several sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, Indian Penal Code and Arms Act.
Close
Earthen lamps lit to celebrate the foundation laying ceremony of the Ram temple in Ayodhya, at Moti Nagar in New Delhi in this file picture from 2020. (Sanchit Khanna/ Hindustan Times)
Earthen lamps lit to celebrate the foundation laying ceremony of the Ram temple in Ayodhya, at Moti Nagar in New Delhi in this file picture from 2020. (Sanchit Khanna/ Hindustan Times)

Over 25,000 million collected for Ram Temple’s construction: VHP

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Shankhyaneel Sarkar, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 06, 2021 08:56 PM IST
  • Rai said that door-to-door collection of funds for the Ram Temple construction has also been stopped.
Close
A health worker takes swab sample of a resident for Covid-19 testing in a housing society, amid a surge in coronavirus cases, at Nehru Nagar in Mumbai.(PTI)
A health worker takes swab sample of a resident for Covid-19 testing in a housing society, amid a surge in coronavirus cases, at Nehru Nagar in Mumbai.(PTI)

Amid surge in Covid-19 cases, these states have imposed fresh restrictions

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Mallika Soni
PUBLISHED ON MAR 06, 2021 08:55 PM IST
  • The central government has also rushed high-level multi-disciplinary public health teams to Maharashtra and Punjab in view of the increase in the number of daily new Covid-19 cases being reported by these states.
Close
The Centre’s counsel said during the hearing that the government had not ordered for the closure of roads under its guidelines and roads would have to be kept open.(File Photo)
The Centre’s counsel said during the hearing that the government had not ordered for the closure of roads under its guidelines and roads would have to be kept open.(File Photo)

‘Will modify Covid travel restrictions with Kerala’: Karnataka govt to HC

By hindustantimes.com | Written by Harshit Sabarwal, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 06, 2021 09:03 PM IST
Karnataka had sealed several roads and national highways with Kerala on February 22 after the former had seen the emergence of two Covid-19 clusters in Bengaluru.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP