Dehradun: There are some pilgrims who are still stranded in Uttarakhand reportedly even as rescue operations are winding down and the focus shifts to rehabilitating the locals and rebuilding the state. Meanwhile, the Met department has warned that heavy rains could lash the hills of Uttarakhand once again later this week, but the intensity won't be very severe.
The Uttarakhand government has earlier been slammed for ignoring warnings from the Met office before the cloudburst on June 16-17. The Met department had issued several advisories to the Uttarakhand government, warning it about the massive landslides and rains that have ravaged the state, killed hundreds of people and swept away houses. The Met Department had even asked the state government to move people to safer places. It had also advised the state government to scrap the Char Dham Yatra, which attracts thousands of pilgrims every year.
"We had issued warnings on June 14 and since then we have been regularly issuing advisories. The warnings were even published in newspapers and a press release was also issued," Uttarakhand MeT department Director Anand Sharma said.
However, the warnings were reportedly ignored. Governments of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh, which was also hit by rains, have denied the Met Department's claim.
Meanwhile, politics over the disaster-hit state continues. Taking a dig at Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, now Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has said that he rescued pilgrims from Uttarakhand without any bias. "Apart from rescuing pilgrims from MP, our rescue teams have rescued 1810 pilgrims from various states without any discrimination," Chouhan tweeted.
"MP choppers rescued 292 pilgrims of Madhya Pradesh and 247 of other states as well," Chouhan added.