Ten Assam pilgrims in Uttarakhand found safe

Guwahati, June 20 (IANS) The Assam government has set up helplines to gather information about people from the state stranded in Uttarakhand. So far, 40 people have been registered this way and 10 of them were found safe, a senior official said Thursday.

Assam Home Secretary G.D. Tripathi said the state government has activated three helplines to gather information on how many pilgrims from the state had gone to Uttarakhand to visit shrines there.

Three telephone lines - 0361-2380620, 0361-2381511 and 0361-2380624 - have been activated for pilgrims from Assam in Uttarakhand.

"Families and friends of those who have been stranded in flood-affected states could contact these numbers and register information about the person travelling. The Uttarakhand government worked very fast and located 10 of them so far. The search is on to trace the others," the home secretary said.

The Assam government has also deputed commissioner and secretary, finance department, Rajiv C. Joshi to move to Uttarakhand to liaise with the government regarding the status of pilgrims from the state.

The state government has also appointed Sudhakar Singh as nodal officer to monitor the situation.

"We have received several calls through the helplines. Initially, we came to know about 51 people from various parts of the state who were travelling in Uttarakhand. We later got to know that the real figure is 40, as confusions arose because several calls were made about one person. The 40 are stranded in different locations. We have contacted the Uttarakhand government, and 10 of them have been located so far, they are safe. We expect to receive information about the others soon," Singh, who has been monitoring the situation from here, said.

"The 10 people we have managed to trace with help from the Uttarakhand government are in Yamunetri. They are put up in a hotel there," Singh said, adding that they would embark on their return journey soon as the situation improves in Uttarakhand.

Landslides and floods in Uttarakhand, after the heavy downpour over last weekend, left about 60,000 people stranded.

--Indo-Asian News Setvice

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