Uttarakhand floods: Death toll crosses 150; PM announces Rs 1,000 crore for relief

Jun 19, 2013, 17:50 IST | Agencies

With skies clearing, rescue of stranded people and relief operations intensified today in Uttarakhand where the death toll in the rain and floods shot up to 150 as thousands of pilgrims still remained stranded.

Over 62,000 pilgrims and tourists are still stranded in calamity-hit Uttarakhand while 11,000 have been rescued.

Accompanied by Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh made an aerial survey of the worst-hit areas while Union Home Secretary RK Singh also undertook a similar mission separately

Uttarakhand floods
Fast moving water from the Alaknanda river destroys building during heavy monsoon rain in Govindghat town of Uttarakhand. Pic-AFP

The prime minister announced Rs 1,000 crore for relief and rehabilitation purposes.

Uttarakhand Principal Secretary Om Prakash said the death toll in the state has gone up to 150 but was not in a position to give the exact estimate since several villages in Chamoli and Rudraprayag districts in the upper reaches were still under water.

Rescue operations
Indian army officials help travellers and villagers up a steep slope (Pic - AFP)

Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna told reporters that he was also not in a position to give the exact estimate of death and destruction which he said was unprecedented in the state.

It would take one year to restore normalcy on the road to Kedarnath from the after effects of the cloud burst which he described as a "Himalayan tsunami".

The first priority is to rescue the stranded people especially those on pilgrimage from various parts of the country, distribution of medicines and rehabilitation and compensation for the affected, he said. 

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