Eight Andhra pilgrims dead, 35 missing in Uttarakhand

Hyderabad, June 24 (IANS) Eight pilgrims from Andhra Pradesh were dead and another 35 missing so far in Uttarakhand floods, the state government said Monday.

Minister for Revenue, Relief and Rehabilitation Raghuveera Reddy said out of 2,624 pilgrims from the state who had gone for Char Dham yatra in the northern state, 1,500 have reached AP Bhavan, the state government's office in New Delhi.

The Andhra government has arranged one helicopter at Dehradun for rescue and relief operations.

Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy Monday spoke to his Uttarakhand counterpart Vijay Bahuguna over phone and sought his cooperation in safely bringing back the pilgrims and tourists from the state.

The chief minister, who is on official tour in Visakhapatnam district, is constantly monitoring the rescue and relief operations, said a statement from his office.

Kiran Kumar Reddy directed the teams of ministers and officials present in Dehradun that round the clock efforts should continue till the last pilgrim or tourist returns safely.

The chief minister made it clear that funds will not be a problem at all in this regard.

Union Minister of State for Social Justice Balaram Naik, state minister Sridhar Babu and senior IAS officers T.Radha and Sanjay Kumar met Uttarakhand chief minister, who promised all assistance to ensure the safe return of Andhra Pradesh pilgrims.

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