The worst is feared as repeated calls to their mobile phones go unanswered

In a last-ditch attempt to locate missing pilgrims, Uttarakhand has asked the A. P. government to send their photographs and other details after collecting them from their families to cross-check with them, the list of those rescued.

Fiftythree more pilgrims have contacted the various helplines, bringing down the number of missing persons to 231. Officials of the Disaster Management Department were busy on Thursday contacting district Collectors to get the details of the missing pilgrims.

Many of these pilgrims are found to be from Hyderabad and Ranga Reddy districts. The officials could manage to get their mobile numbers from various sources, including their families, travel agencies etc. “Nearly 12 days have passed since the June 15 catastrophe. If alive, these pilgrims would have contacted their families by now. But repeated calls to their mobiles did not get any response. Moreover, search and rescue operations in Kedarnath, the worst-affected area, have been called off,” an official said.

The AP government has been informed that the search, rescue and relief operations have now been restricted to the Badrinath, Yamunotri and Gangotri sectors now. Rescue operations are in full swing in these areas by two choppers hired by AP.

Kiran reviews situation

Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, who reviewed the situation again along with Ministers D. Sridhar Babu, N. Uttam Kumar Reddy and Balram Naik and Disaster Management Commissioner T. Radha before leaving New Delhi, was informed that only eight pilgrims remained finally at the TTD relief camp at Dehradun.

Senior IAS officer Adityanath Das, who is overseeing the relief operations, contacted the Army to ensure airlifting of those stranded at Badrinath. Four teams, each comprising 10 members, are stationed at Dehradun, Haridwar and Rishikesh.