West Bengal govt arranges chartered flight for return of pilgrims
Kolkata: The West Bengal government has arranged for chartered flight to bring back tourists and pilgrims from the state stranded in rain-battered Uttarakhand.
``Arrangements have been made in both Delhi and Dehradun to bring back tourists and pilgrims from our state stranded in rain-devastated Uttarakhand ... I pray the stranded visitors from West Bengal keep well and safely return home,`` Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee told reporters at the state secretariat Writers` Buildings.
This was the first time that the state government had taken the initiative to arrange chartered flight to bring back stranded people back.
``Earlier, there was no such effort to bring back stranded passengers by chartered flight,`` Banerjee said adding she had brought back bodies of six tourists from Himachal Pradesh in the past.
About 1,200 tourists and pilgrims had already been brought back to West Bengal from the affected areas of Uttarakhand, she said, adding that there was also no report of any death belonging to the state who had gone to Uttarakhand.
The Chief Minister said she had asked the state`s Transport Minister Madan Mitra, who is in Uttarakhand to help stranded visitors from the state, to return and directed Planning Minister Rachpal Singh to stay back.
She said the state Chief Secretary Sanjay Mitra and Home Secretary Basudev Banerjee were keeping touch with Uttarakhand government.
``We (WB government) have asked our resident commissioner (in New Delhi) to monitor the situation,`` she added.
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