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Over 1,500 MP residents still stranded

Nearly 1,500 to 2,000 pilgrims from Madhya Pradesh are still stranded in various parts of Uttarakhand and 707 are untraceable.

india Updated: Jun 27, 2013 10:49 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times

Nearly 1,500 to 2,000 pilgrims from Madhya Pradesh are still stranded in various parts of Uttarakhand and 707 are untraceable.

Four hundred to 500 are stranded in Badrinath.

The state government said as many as 88 pilgrims were sent for their homes on Wednesday by buses from Haridwar while 182 stayed back.

Sharing this information to the Hindustan Times over phone from Dehradun, state culture minister Laxmikant Sharma, who is supervising arrangements at Haridwar relief camp, said on Wednesday helicopters of Army and Madhya Pradesh made 17 sorties between Badrinath and Joshimath.

“The pilgrims evacuated safely on Wednesday include 32 from Madhya Pradesh. Also, 74 more pilgrims reached Rishikesh by road,” he said.

There were speculations and later a statement by the state government that a special plane with stranded pilgrims will reach Bhopal on Wednesday evening.

Many journalists and photojournalists even went to Raja Bhoj Airport to talk to the survivors.

But the special plane didn’t land at Bhopal.

When HT asked Sharma about it, he said a special plane with nearly 168 rescued pilgrims would arrive in Bhopal on Thursday around 11am, he added.

“As many people are being rescued by Army directly we don’t have exact figures about the number of pilgrims that have returned home.

We are giving figures about people we have talked to or known about them through different sources here,” Sharma said.

In the evening, around 8pm, the state government issued a statement, stating that as many as 270 stranded pilgrims from MP reached state’s relief camp at Haridwar till 7.15pm on Wednesday.

“As many as 88 pilgrims were sent for their homes by buses while 182 stayed back at Shanti Kunj. So far, 582 people are reported missing.

This information includes the details received through e-mails and direct reporting,” the statement added.

The state government relief team in Uttarakhand is meanwhile searching hospitals and dharmshalas to locate the injured or sick pilgrims from the state.

The state government also claimed that financial aid was given to 200 MP-bound pilgrims.

Meanwhile, National Disaster Management Authority vice chairperson M Shashidhar Reddy reportedly stated that the official death toll stands at 560 while 340 people are missing and nearly 4,000 people still stranded in Uttarakhand.

Other reports claim that over 5,000 people are still stranded in Badrinath.

Meanwhile, moderate rainfall was reported in some areas of Uttarakhand on Wednesday afternoon that included Gaurikund, Phata and Guptkashi, hampering the rescue operations.

BS Jamod, incharge collector Bhopal, said 33 people from Bhopal are still missing and efforts are on to trace them.

He said according to information they have got through different sources, 233 people from Bhopal had gone for Char Dham pilgrimage this year.

“Of this, 128 pilgrims have returned, while 68 others are safe at various relief camps in Uttarakhand,” he added.

First Published: Jun 27, 2013 10:45 IST