Untraceable in Uttarakhand: 120 from city still missing

Jun 24, 2013, 10:14 IST | Anup Satphale

While several pilgrims who were trapped in Kedarnath returned home safely, there are still many families anxiously waiting for news of their dear ones

While there’s good news for several families as their loved ones who were trapped in Uttarakhand are on their way back home, there are many others who may have to wait longer.

According to V Banote, disaster management officer at the Collector’s office, “Out of the 321 people, 272 are on their way back to city. The remaining 49 people are still missing and we haven’t got any information about them.”

Commendable: People who reached home safely are in awe of army jawans who braved downpour, adverse climate, and worked relentlessly to rescue them from the nature's fury. Pic/AFP

Apart from them, another 70 people who were part of the group that was sent by MLA Vilas Lande too are missing. Also, 26 out of 70 people that went to the yatra through Shivgauri Travels are untraceable.

“These 70 people are no where to be found and we have no information regarding their whereabouts,” said Lande. He added that the group was last seen near Gaurikund, following which there has been no news about them. “I have asked other MLAs to look into the matter,” he said.

Saurabha Kulkarni, Shivgauri Travels’ proprietor’s son said, “My father and 25 others are missing. I last spoke to him on June 16, and after that we couldn’t contact him. We’ve tried calling several authorities, but are yet to trace them.”

Informing about people who reached home safely or are on their way, Banote said, “Thirty people that went through Bhagyashree Travels, two by Shivgauri Travels and 78 in other groups have returned back. Few people that had gone through another tour operator will return in a day or two.”

Sudhir Kale, whose wife and mother-in-law are missing, said, “I haven’t spoken to them since many days. I called up the tour operator recently, who informed me that they are near Gaurikund, but after the floods they are untraceable.”

Jayant Gurav, a resident of New Sangavi, and his wife were rescued by the army. Narrating the incident, he said, “For the first two days we stayed uphill, as we had climbed there to save ourselves from the flood. We came down the third day, where army jawans gave us water and biscuits. Then we were taken to the Chardham base camp, and were provided with meal and first aid. Later, we were airlifted to Dehradun. He added, “Our jawans braved the downpour, adverse climate, and worked relentlessly to rescue those stranded in floods.” 

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