Bhopal: Chief Minister Shri Shivraj Singh Chouhan brought 60 pilgrims of state rescued in Uttarakhand to Bhopal by a special plane today. This was eighth flight for airlifting state’s pilgrims. Chief Minister Shri Chouhan reiterated that Uttarakhand natural calamity should be declared a national disaster and a national policy should be chalked out to preserve environment and balanced development.
Chief Minister Shri Chouhan returned to Bhopal today after taking stock of relief and rescue operations in Uttarakhand. At the airport, he garlanded each pilgrim and sent them off to their respective destination cordially. He said that Uttarakhand’s calamity is the biggest natural disaster which has affected a lot of families. So far, state’s 5330 pilgrims have been rescued from Uttarakhand. Two more flights will bring pilgrims from Dehradun. So far, 1301 pilgrims have been brought by plane in addition to 4 thousand brought by buses. State’s relief and rescue camp at Shanti Kunj, Hariwar provided medical attention and meals to 7,204 pilgrims and financial assistance to 1,256 pilgrims. Helicopters sent from the state rescued 292 pilgrims from state and 247 from other states. Relief camp at Haridwar will continue its operations. A team has been constituted under the leadership of IG Shri Pramod Phalnikar to trace missing pilgrims. The team will operate with the cooperation of Uttarakhand government and Army.
Chief Minister Shri Chouhan said that an appeal has been made to Uttarakhand Chief Minister that rescue work should be continued. A photo-bearing list of state’s 593 missing pilgrims has been prepared and sent to Uttarakhand government. Total number of state’s missing pilgrims is 741. Photographs of remaining pilgrims are being collected. Assistance worth Rs. 50 thousand each will be given to the families whose members are missing in Uttarakhand. If missing pilgrims are not traced even after one week, concerning family members will be provided Rs. 2 lakh each. The children who have lost both parents in the calamity will be provided Rs. 5 lakh each. He said that the State Government will rebuild one village devastated by calamity in Uttarakhand. Relief camp at Haridwar will be continued at present. One more team comprising state’s officers will be sent to Haridwar tomorrow. Culture Minister Shri Laxmikant Sharma along with state’s team will stay back to coordinate relief and rescue operations at the camp. He said that parents of a girl from Gwalior Snehlata are missing in Uttarakhand. She will be provided permanent government job. Chief Secretary Shri R. Parasuram and CM’s wife Smt. Sadhna Singh also came along with the Chief Minister to Bhopal.
Consoles affected families at relief camps: During his two-day visit, Chief Minister Shri Chouhan visited relief camps set by Madhya Pradesh government and various charitable organisations and consoled affected persons. He said that institutions like Gayatri Parivar and Parmarth Niketan played significant role in relief and rescue operations. Shri Chouhan also called on Swami Sachchidananda of Parmarth Niketan Ganga Action Parivar this morning. He also inspected the relief camp set up by this institution at bus stand. He said that that now Madhya Pradesh government will act on 4 priorities – first returning pilgrims to their homes, second war-footing search for missing persons, third provision of relief to the families whose members are missing and fourth cooperation in rebuilding of Uttarakhand.