151 pilgrims from Karnataka rescued in Uttarakhand

Disaster management team in Dehradun to oversee relief measures

151 pilgrims from Karnataka rescued in Uttarakhand

A total of 151 people from Karnataka were rescued to safety from flood-affected areas in Uttarakhand, officials from the Karnataka Disaster Management Centre (KDMC) have said.

The KDMC officials, however, chose to remain mum on the number of casualties of tourists from the State. They said that those rescued were provided medical and food supplies at a relief camp in Dehradun.

“We have redoubled our efforts after Meteorological Department predicted that there will be more rain in a couple of days. The Uttarakhand government has agreed, in principle, to our request to direct more helicopters to Badrinath, where several of our tourists are trapped between landslides,” Infrastructure development and information minister Santosh Lad said.

Meanwhile, a batch of 68 people left from the relief camp at Dehradun for Karnataka Bhavan in New Delhi on Saturday. “The victims will be provided food and shelter at Karnataka Bhavan, from where they will proceed to Karnataka by train,” Deputy Inspector General (Internal Security) Hemanth Nimbalkar said.

A number of Congress leaders and youth Congress members on Saturday submitted cheques worth about Rs 6.5 lakh towards the Prime Minister’s relief fund for relief measures in Uttarakhand. A delegation headed by V S Ugrappa mobilised the cash contribution for the relief work as the Prime Minister has declared the floods a national calamity.

Addressing a press conference, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said he was in constant touch with KDMC officials in Dehradun.

“I have directed officials to take all measures to ensure the safe return of our people. I have already discussed future course of action in case of an emergency.”

The chief minister said that the State would send one more team of doctors to Uttarakhand and asked the people of Karnataka to come forward and voluntarily help those stranded there.

According to KDMC officials, the rescue operation had been successful even in challenging terrain. But there are a few people trapped between cliffs and uneven terrain with poor visibility. The Army has decided to create routes through forest areas so that additional help and rescue forces can be utilised.

“After the current batch of victims who have been sent home, the rest of them will be sent via flight, so that we can hasten the rescue activity before it is affected by monsoon,” Lad said.

Former minister Shobha Karandlaje, who returned to Bangalore from Uttarakhand, met Siddaramaiah on Saturday and volunteered to go back to Kedarnath and Hrishikesh in case the government wishes to use her services.

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