State announces Rs 50 lakh relief for flood-affected pilgrims
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Thursday announced a relief package of Rs 50 lakh to provide food, clothing, medicine, and to address other basic needs of pilgrims from Karnataka stranded at Kedarnath, Badrinath and other parts of Uttarakhand.
The relief package comes in light of massive floods which devastated the holy pilgrim centres earlier this week. The chief minister has also allocated Rs five crore towards the relief measures and the redevelopment of locations in Uttarakhand.
In his statement, Siddaramaiah said that the State is in constant touch with the Uttarakhand officials on evacuation and relief measures to be given to Karnataka citizens.
Minister for Infrastructure Development and Information and Broadcasting Santosh Lad has been appointed as the Karnataka envoy in Uttarakhand. A team of doctors from Bangalore have also left for Uttarakhand.
Meanwhile, the Government has also sought assistance from three religious mutts located in New Delhi to provide temporary shelter, food and supplies for the residents of the State. As many as 1,200 Karnataka residents have been trapped in Uttarakhand, including nearly 760 in Kedarnath, 340 in Badrinath and another 167 in other parts of the State.
Social Welfare Commissioner Naveen Raj Singh who has been in Dehradun for the last two days, said that about 150 people from Karnataka were stranded in Gaurikhund alone.
They will be airlifted to Pata and will be brought to Dehradun, where the State government has set up temporary guest houses, sources said.
Union Minister for Railways Mallikarjun Kharge has confirmed that his department will ensure that the victims have a hassle-free return to their respective states. “I have already asked the Railway Board to confirm their tickets on a priority basis,” he said.
The Karnataka government is coordinating rescue efforts through the Karnataka Disaster Management Centre (KDMC) at the Secretariat House, Subhash Road in Dehradun. “Over 300 people from the State were airlifted from various parts of Uttarakhand. They were given medical treatment and free transportation from ISBT bus stands at Rishikesh-via-New Delhi to Karnataka,” said Deputy Inspector General of Police (Internal Security) Hemanth Nimbalkar.
According to KMDC officials the control room received over 28 calls from Karnataka on Thursday by the relatives of stranded victims. Officials said that a Bangalore native, Nagaraj and 13 members of his family, who are to return to the State today, are the first group of pilgrims to be repatriated.
Bangalore City Police number are: 080 - 2294 2111 / 2225 53707.
Victims or relatives can also contact: 94484 56789, 94481 10100, 98862 31479, to seek or provide information on stranded pilgrims from Karnataka at Uttarakhand. For information about those stranded, call: 97419 21222 / 94483 51194 / 89716 44479.