Kolkata: With the road communication between Uttarkashi and Guptakashi restored in rain-devastated Uttarakhand, many stranded tourists and pilgrims from West Bengal have been able to make way for Haridwar, a state minister said on Thursday.
"It is expected that the stranded tourists and pilgrims will reach Rishikesh late this evening," disaster management minister Javed Ahmed Khan said here.
Khan said the state government had contacted officials of the local administration at Rishikesh to provide transit arrangement and buses to people moving from Rishikesh to Haridwar for onward rail journey to Bengal.
State transport minister Madan Mitra and planning minister Rachpal Singh would go to Tehri today after meeting Uttarakhand Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna and the disaster management minister there.
Khan said that Rs 20 lakh had already been sanctioned by the state government to rescue the stranded tourists and pilgrims from the state.
The Railways have assured them to provide seats on a priority basis pending additional coaches, he said.
The Railway Board has deployed senior official at Haridwar to assist stranded tourists and pilgrims to board Howrah-bound trains from tonight, the first of which would leave Haridwar at 21.55 hours, he said.
Giving details of the arrangement, the minister said that those, who are aged or ill, arrangement will be made for flights from Delhi to Kolkata.
"Air India has already promised 120 seats from June 21 onwards on AI-0231 flight departing Delhi at 05.45 am," the minister said.
Transit stay arrangement has been made to keep about 400 people at Banga Bhavan, Kali Bari and Bharat Sevashram in Delhi before they leave for home, he added.
Some senior state officials have also been sent to Haridwar and Rishikesh.