Sixty-one pilgrims from Kumbakonam and Thanjavur got stranded at Patta.

A group of 37 people, including 16 women, who set out on a pilgrimage from Villupuram on June 11, are said to have been stranded at Uttarakhand owing to unprecedented floods in northern parts of the country.

The pilgrimage was organised by one Babu of Mariamman Koil Street near bazaar in the town.

A relative of a pilgrim made a representation through a letter to Collector V. Sampath seeking the help of the district administration and the State government to facilitate safe return of pilgrims. She said the last communication received from the group was on June 13. Attempts to contact them over cell phones ended in futile, she said. Since no communication line was open the families of the pilgrims were in deep anguish. The Collector told The Hindu that the letter had been faxed to the government for necessary action. Mr. Sampath also asked Superintendent of Police (Villupuram) S. Manoharan to get in touch with his counterpart at Uttarakhand and gather information about the pilgrims.

Special Correspondent from Thanjavur writes:

Sixty-one pilgrims from Kumbakonam and Thanjavur got stranded at Patta, 25 km from Kedarnath. Though they are safe, relatives urge the State and the Central governments to take steps to bring them safely from Patta.

Relatives who contacted the helplines were reportedly told that cars, vans and buses had been stranded for nearly 100 km and therefore the pilgrims could not be brought by road. S. Mohan of Thanjavur, one of the relatives of the pilgrims, told The Hindu that he spoke to T.R. Baalu, DMK MP, and R. Vaithilingam, State Housing and Urban Development Minister, to take steps to rescue them.

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