Bengal to airlift its pilgrims from Uttarakhand
Kolkata: The West Bengal government will soon send a chartered flight to bring back home stranded tourists and pilgrims from the state from calamity-ravaged Uttarakhand, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Tuesday.
"Those who are still stranded will be brought home by a chartered flight that will operate either from Dehradun or Delhi. It is the moral responsibility of the state government to rescue the residents of the state," Banerjee told journalists at the state secretariat here.
She refused to give details about when the stranded people will be flown home or how many of from the state have perished so far in the calamity.
"Why are you asking about the dead? We want that everyone should return alive. We do not have any details about the dead," she said.
The Banerjee regime had earlier offered all "sorts of help" to the Uttrakhand government and sent state Transport Minister Madan Mitra and Planning Minister Rachpal Singh to supervise rescue of around 1,700 pilgrims from Bengal left stranded in the hill state following heavy rains and landslides.
"There are still 400 to 500 people from the state stranded in the Badrinath sector. Though they are being provided food and shelter, the roads have been washed away in the floods and they can only be airlifted," said Singh, adding that three camps have been set up by the State government at Haridwar, Rishikesh and Dehradun.
A batch of around 500 pilgrims arrived here June 23 after being rescued from Uttarakhand.
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