Bhopal: Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has urged the Centre to declare the Uttarakhand tragedy a national disaster, as casualties rise and a large number of people from MP as well as pilgrims continue to be stranded in rain-ravaged areas.
"In view of the mounting crisis in Uttarakhand, I demand that the Centre declare it a national disaster," he said in a statement on Thursday night.
Chouhan said India`s disaster management skills were being watched globally and the Madhya Pradesh government stood by its Uttarakhand counterpart in its hour of crisis.
In order to provide quick relief to stranded people, the government has deputed four helicopters to airlift them from rain ravaged areas, he said.
Meanwhile, Public Relations Minister Laxmikant Sharma who is camping in Haridwar to co-ordinate relief and rescue operations, told PTI that so far his team managed to contact around 1500 people from Madhya Pradesh stranded in Dehradun, Haridwar and Rishikesh. An MP government team led by him is providing them all possible assistance, he said.
"We are making arrangements to send them back to their respective places. Two helicopters have arrived and two more are on their way to join relief and rescue operations," he said.
Besides managing food and lodging for the stranded pilgrims, it is also taking care of their medical needs, he said.
"We are making efforts to evacuate people stranded in Badrinath and Gaurikund. We are also making efforts to set up camps at Rishikesh, besides opening a control room at Shantikunj in Haridwar," Sharma added.