Helicopter, jet from Haryana in Uttarakhand relief operations

Chandigarh, June 22 (IANS) Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda Saturday left the state government helicopter at the disposal of Uttarakhand for carrying out relief operations. The Congress unit in the state has also offered a jet to the calamity-hit state.

Hooda made the decision to allow Uttarakhand the use of the chopper after a meeting with Uttarakhand Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna at Dehradun Saturday, the spokesman said.

Hooda said a jet too would be provided for the relief operations from Haryana, this time from the Congress party unit in the state: "On behalf of the people of Haryana, the state unit of the Congress is providing one Falcon jet aircraft for relief operations," the chief minister said.

Talking to the media, Hooda said that the Haryana government would soon dispatch 50,000 blankets for the affected people.

Haryana Chief Secretary P.K. Chaudhery also met his Uttarakhand counterpart Subhash Kumar at Dehradun to discuss the assistance Haryana could provide to Uttarakhand.

The Punjab government had hired a private helicopter June 19 to rescue pilgrims from the state stranded during their journey to the Sikh shrine of Hemkund Sahib in the cloudburst and flood-affected areas of Uttarakhand.

Punjab Police Friday dispatched 105 police buses to Rishikesh for transportation of pilgrims back to Punjab. These include 64 mini-buses which will ferry stranded people from the upper reaches to Rishikesh.

"Each vehicle has two drivers and two policemen for assistance. The state transport buses which have been dispatched to Rishikesh have also been provided with two policemen per bus," a Punjab government spokesman said.

The Punjab government has sent nearly 1,000 Punjab Police personnel to Rishikesh to help in relief operations.

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