U'khand CM Bahuguna thanks PM, Sonia, says 'immediate priority is rescue and evacuation'

New Delhi, June 19 (ANI): Uttarakhand Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna on Wednesday thanked Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh for announcing 1,000 crore rupees relief and rehabilitation package for the flood-affected state, and said that the priority at the moment is to rescue those who are stranded and evacuate those who have to go out.

"Today we met the Prime Minister and we expressed our gratitude to both the Congress President and the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister has sanctioned a relief of Rs. 1,000 crores to the state outright," said Bahuguna.

"Chief Ministers of several states have offered us monetary support and we are grateful to them. The NGOs, corporate companies should help in Uttarakhand with their CRF funds," he added.

Bahuguna also expressed his gratitude to the Prime Minister and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi for conducting an aerial survey of the flood-affected areas in Uttarakhand despite the bad weather.

"As per the preliminary estimates, human loss is in hundreds. Many are injured, sick and thousands are stranded," he said, while emphasizing that rehabilkitaion will take a lot of time.

Bahuguna further said over 1,000 people are still struck in the state.

"Some are struck at safe places and there we are making efforts to ensure that they are provided with food and water. But others are caught up in locations where they are not being able to get food and water," said Bahuguna.

"It's a major concern for the Central and State Governments and the army as to how to reach those locations where we are not able to drop even food. The route from Gaurikund to Kedarnath has virtually been washed out," he added.

Relief and rescue operations have been intensified in the affected areas as weather condition was improved in several parts of the state. The army has set up several relief camps in the affected areas.

Thousands are stranded at several places in the flood-affected areas, including in the routes of four shrine- Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri. A large number of Sikh devotees are also stranded in the Hemkunt Sahib, a famous Sikh Shrine. (ANI)


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