14 Andhra pilgrims dead in Uttarakhand

Fourteen pilgrims hailing from Andhra Pradesh are believed to have died in Uttarakhand.

Updated: Jun 25, 2013, 22:55 PM IST

Hyderabad: Fourteen pilgrims hailing from Andhra Pradesh are believed to have died in Uttarakhand and 430 people are still not accounted for after the rain and landslides battered the hill state over a week ago.

Quoting reports received from collectors of different districts, a release from the State Disaster Management Commissioner`s office here today said as many as 2,616 pilgrims from Andhra Pradesh were stranded in Uttarakhand after the natural disaster.

Of them, 1,239 pilgrims have returned home, while 933 were reported to be safe though they have not reached their native places.

The release said 430 people have not reported to their native districts so far, while 14 pilgrims are said to have died.

Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy interacted with the pilgrims, who returned from Uttarakhand, at the AP Bhavan in Delhi on Tuesday.

The state government has hired a helicopter for the rescue of stranded pilgrims. It has deputed IAS officers and teams of other officials to the northern state and also Delhi to facilitate the safe return of the pilgrims.
The government has set up helplines at Dehradun, Delhi and also Hyderabad to help the victims.

he special officer deputed in Dehradun and the Resident Commissioner of AP Bhavan have been authorised to incur expenditure and make adequate transport arrangements for all pilgrims from Andhra who were rescued or airlifted, the release said.

The release said 81 pilgrims have reached AP Bhavan in
the national capital since last night and free food and medical care have been provided to them.

Arrangements have been made for transportation of 19 pilgrims by flight and 16 by train to different parts of Andhra Pradesh.

According to reports reaching Hyderabad, a large number of pilgrims from the state were held up at Badrinath and they were waiting to be evacuated.

The release said family members of those held up at Badrinath have approached the authorities in Kadapa district for help.