More than 1,500 from West Bengal stranded in Uttarakhand, Himachal

New Delhi, June 20 (IANS) Over 1,500 tourists from West Bengal are stranded in flood-ravaged Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh, officials said Thursday.

A nine-member team led by West Bengal Transport Minister Madan Mitra and Planning Minister Rajpal Singh have reached Uttarakhand to coordinate efforts to rescue the missing tourists.

The West Bengal government has set up a control room in Rishikesh and a special camp for the rescued tourists in Haridwar, a senior official said.

A separate control room has been set up at Banga Bhawan in Delhi.

"The maximum number of tourists are stuck in Gaurikund in Uttarakhand and Sangla in Himachal Pradesh, the official said.

Gaurikund is the point from which pilgrims embark towards the famous Kedarnath shrine.

Bengalis are counted as India's most prolific tourists, and are estimated to make up almost 60 percent of India's 400-million strong domestic tourists.

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