Uttarakhand floods: 200 stranded pilgrims flown in IAF choppers to safe places
With a slight improvement in the weather today, two IAF choppers ferried about 200 stranded pilgrims from the high altitude Kedarnath shrine to Fata helipad in Rudraprayag district.
Chopper services were launched on a war footing with no fresh spell of rain in the morning at most places in the Uttarakhand, Rudraparayag SDM LN Mishra said.
So far, 200 pilgrims stuck in Kedarnath have been brought in two IAF choppers to Fata helipad from where the sick have been taken to the nearest health facilities, he said.
Bodies of three ITBP jawans and two police constables were also recovered from the debris at Kedarnath, official sources said, adding these casualties occurred Monday.
Two IAF helicopters and an equal number of private helicopters have been pressed into service in Chamoli district where a huge number of pilgrims are still stranded.
The private choppers have been hired to reach edibles and essential commodities to people stranded in Pulna and Bundar villages en route to Hemkund Sahib.
State Health Minister Yashpal Arya visited the affected areas in Uttarkashi and assured people he had sought more choppers from the State Tourism Minister Amrita Rawat for relief and rescue operations in the district which is one of the worst hit.
Apart from choppers, JCB dozers may also be utilised to shift stranded pilgrims to safe places, he said.