Pilgrims airlifted from flood-ravaged Uttarakhand

As the operations commenced to rescue stranded pilgrims in flood ravaged Uttarakhand, three Bangaloreans were among the 771 people airlifted from the Kedarnath Ghati area on Wednesday.

The three are Keerthi, Rati Chandra and Navya Shri. Confirming the rescue, the Uttarakhand Tourism’s public relations officer Anurag Dangwal said they were rescued by choppers and brought to Gupta Kasi.

He said more pilgrims are being airlifted from Kedarnath Ghati. The valley is among the worst affected in the floods, with road links totally destroyed. Currently there are 30 groups of an average 20 persons each from Karnataka travelling in tours organised by Uttarakhand Tourism. They are all safe.

With pilgrims trickling into Delhi, the Karnataka Bhavan has made arrangements to send 71 pilgrims back to Karnataka: 25 were accommodated on the Sampark Kranti Express and 46 on the Rajdhanisaid Suprasanna, Joint Resident Commissioner of Karnataka Bhavan.

Meanwhile, the three-member team sent by the State to coordinate the logistics has established contact with 205 pilgrims from the State. “We have been able to establish contact with those stranded in Badrinath, Kedarnath and Gangotri,” said Kari Gowda, Deputy Director of Mines and Geology, who has been deputed to Dehradun for rescue efforts. He said that it would take a couple of days for the stranded to reach Delhi.