Relatives leave for U'khand to trace kin

 Harried relatives and family members of stranded pilgrims are leaving for Uttarakhand to trace their kin who had been on a pilgrimage to the hill state.

While some of the relatives have stationed themselves at Dehradun and Haridwar and are looking for their near and dear ones, a few were headed towards the affected areas. Many were also searching for their relatives in the forests.

“My father Nageshwar had last contacted us on June 15. He was en route to the Kedarnath temple with others. Since then, there has been no word,” said Shyam Kumar, a resident of the Maal area near the state capital. Shyam said two of his relatives had already left for Uttarakhand to trace his father and other members of the group. They were headed towards the temple, he added.

Despite knowing fully well that it was impossible to reach Kedarnath and its surroundings, people have been leaving in droves for Uttarakhand from the state.

“They will go as far as they can. Our relatives may be stranded and may not have received help,” said Ramswaroop, whose brother and other members of the family could not be traced for the past eight days. “We will make our own arrangements to bring them home,” he said. Ramswaroop’s relatives left for Uttarakhand on Saturday.

The relatives said they took the decision after waiting for several days.  Some complained that they were not getting enough information about their relatives even though their names were there in the list of survivors. “We are losing hope with every passing day,” Ramswaroop said.With rescue agencies already overburdened with a herculean task of shifting the stranded to safer places, a fresh influx of people could compound problems.

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