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Stranded pilgrims evacuated from Badrinath
July 08, 2004 20:07 IST
All the 1,600 pilgrims, stranded for the past two days in Badrinath area in Uttaranchal, due to landslides triggered by a cloudburst, have been evacuated.
The Sub-divisional Magistrate (Chamoli district) Sanjay Kumar Singh on Thursday said all the 1,600 pilgrims, except 31 waiting for the road to clear to take back their vehicles, have come out of the disaster-hit Badrinath area and proceeded towards Rishikesh through state roadways buses.
While 45 pilgrims, mostly old and sick, were evacuated on Wednesday by the Indian Air Force's Mi-17 helicopters, the rest trekked through a 3km-long tunnel as choppers failed to take off on Thursday due to inclement weather.
Meanwhile, the state government has sought a relief package of Rs 100 crore from the Centre for the relief work.
The government provided all essential items like water, electricity etc to the local people in Badrinath area, which was cut off from the rest of the country due to a cloudburst on Monday night that triggered landslides and floods and claimed 17 lives."We have made all arrangements to provide basic amenities. A new hydel project of 1MW will soon start become operational and food grains, kerosene oil and gas cylinders would be supplied by helicopters or through the tunnel by coolies," Additional Chief Secretary M Ramachandran and Information Secretary N N Prasad told reporters in Dehra Dun.