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Steps on war-footing to bring 399 stranded TN tourists home:CM

Chennai, June 20, 2013, (PTI) 17:02 IST
File image: Army soldiers rescuing pilgrims during their flood relief operation in Chamoli, Uttarakhand, on Tuesday. PTI Photo
About 400 tourists from Tamil Nadu are stranded in rain-ravaged Uttarakhand and government would take all steps on "war-footing basis" to bring them back, Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa said today.

However, she said the stranded 399 people from the state were "safe".

After chairing a review meeting at the Secretariat, the chief minister said in a statement that a high level committee, headed by the Government of Tamil Nadu special representative at New Delhi, has been formed that would leave for Dehradun to bring the pilgrims to Tamil Nadu.

The Committee would coordinate with the Uttarakhand government and the Centre to bring the tourists by helicopter to Dehradun. They will be later flown to New Delhi and from there brought back to Chennai, she said, adding, their travelling expenditure will be borne by the state government.

Besides, a help centre has been set up at the Tamil Nadu House in New Delhi and families of the tourists can contact 011-24193455, 011-24193456 to get any information about their dear ones.

Similarly, a help centre has also been set up in Chennai and people can call the toll free number 1070.

The stranded tourists were safe and the state government would take all steps on a war-footing to bring them back, Jayalalithaa asserted.

Flash floods and landslides triggered by the monsoon have claimed over 100 lives in Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh and thousands of pilgrims are feared stranded at several places. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had yesterday announced Rs 1,000 crore for the disaster relief measures.

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