With over 1300 tourists and pilgrims from Maharashtra stranded in Uttarakhand, the State government has announced Rs. 10 crore aid and is trying to ensure all those affected are rescued and brought back safely.
Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan on Wednesday told reporters after the weekly Cabinet meeting that various helplines have been started and relief teams sent to Uttarakhand to ensure coordination. Government and other agencies were trying to establish contact with the 300-odd tourists who are yet to be traced. A total of 1353 from the State were trapped, of which contact was established with 1019 persons.
Official sources said that the State government plans to organise a special aircraft to bring all the stranded people back home. Helplines have been started with a control room at the State secretariat. The government has prepared four helipads and 17 helicopters have been engaged in rescue operations. In addition, those stranded were being given relief in terms of food, water and medicines.
The Maharashtra government is opening a camp office at Haridwar on the lines of the one in Dehradun from Wednesday. Mr. Chavan reviewed the situation at the Cabinet meeting and the government has already sent a team of five officials to Uttarakhand to help in the rescue and relief work. Contact with some tourists could not be established as they remain cut off due to excessive floods.