Aircraft with 148 MP pilgrims from Uttarakhand lands in Bhopal



Bhopal: A special aircraft carrying 148 pilgrims stranded in rain-ravaged Uttarakhand landed here on Tuesday amid emotional scenes at the Raja Bhoj International Airport.

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan was present at the airport to receive pilgrims who arrived from Dehradun.

Chouhan welcomed older citizens and children by offering them garlands on the occasion and directed officials to ensure their safety till they reached their homes, official sources said.

The state government also deployed buses at the airport to ferry passengers to the nearest town from their homes.

Chouhan directed that efforts be made to trace all pilgrims who visited Uttarakhand about whom district collectors have got information, while he reviewed relief and rescue operations along with Chief Secretary R Parsuram, Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) Vivek Jouhri and Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister Manoj Shrivastava earlier during the day.

Chouhan also spoke to MP's Public Relations Minister Laxmikant Sharma who informed him that a camp had been established in Joshimath by state officials, to provide relief to stranded pilgrims.

Nearly 250 pilgrims from MP are stranded in Joshimath and they would be brought to the plains by a land route.

The pilgrims stranded in Joshimath and Harsil are safe, the minister said.

The government also claimed that so far nearly 8,000 pilgrims have returned to their respective places.

PTI