Laden with stories, Lad returns a humbled man

Minister was deputed to monitor and assist rescue operations

Laden with stories, Lad returns a humbled man

Minister of State for Information Santhosh Lad had just landed in Dehradun on his way to monitor rescue operations in flood-ravaged Uttarakhand when he got a phone call from a woman about her son being stranded in Badrinath.

Lad told her that bad weather did not permit him to reach Badrinath as even helicopters were not in a position to take off.

The mother ended the call stating that politicians just indulged in drama.

This prompted Lad to visit Badrinath and he ended up finding the youth. Lad had been deputed by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to go to the hill state to monitor and assist in rescue operations, especially of pilgrims from the State.

Back in Bangalore, Lad narrated his experience to the media on Wednesday.

Bad weather

“Thousands had been stranded in Badrinath. There were a number of helicopters deployed for rescue operations, but not one could not take off due to bad weather. Nothing could be done for the first few days,” Lad said.

Lad said he had to lie that he was a doctor to get access to an Army helicopter to reach Badrinath.

“As a mine owner, I have some knowledge of topography. Most of the hills are cone shaped and tilted at 70 degrees.

“Landslides are bound to happen in such environment,” Lad said and added that hundreds had perished in the massive landslides in the region.

Causeways had been washed away due to cloud burst over Gandhi Sarovar and the subsequent flooding of the Mandakini river. Minister Lad said he was humbled by the devastation, of both life and property.

He had realised the importance of life during his Uttarakhand visit.

As many as 450 pilgrims from Karnataka who were stranded in Uttarakhand had returned to the State, the minister said.

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