A bridge constructed by Border Roads Organisation at Pandukeshwar in rain-hit Uttarakhand on Wednesday helped the Army evacuate 2000 stranded people from Badrinath where 2750 people are still awaiting to be rescued. Another 540 people are awaiting evacuation from Harsil where 600 people were pulled out by Army using various means.
Bad weather hampered the rescue efforts through air, but evacuation of those stranded continued by roads, a statement issued by the Group of Ministers on Media said in New Delhi. Ration and edible oil supplies have reached Badrinath for those stranded as well as the local residents.
No fresh survivors were found in the Jungle Chatti area where the Army carried out reconnaissance missions. Meanwhile, the state government started the cremation procedure of bodies in Kedarnath for which the Air Force has already delivered material like logs, ghee and related items.
The BRO was able to open the road up to 30 km beyond Uttarkashi but a planned bridge at Son Prayag could not be operationalised as the rainfall resulted in sharp increase in the water flow of the river. Another bridge is being set up at a location nearby and is likely to be operationalised by Thursday morning.
Of the 287 communication towers of BSNL that were damaged, only three are dysfunctional while the rest have been repaired, the release said. Private telecom operators have also opened emergency numbers to provide the last active location of their subscribers in the region.
Despite bad weather, Air Force carried out 64 sorties to evacuate 636 people. It has deployed 44 aircraft, including helicopters, in the region. The ITBP evacuated 400 people on on Wednesday. So far, 30,816 pilgrims have been evacuated by ITBP rescue teams across the affected areas.