With pilgrims and tourists stranded in flash floods in Uttarakahand hailing from all parts of the country, several state governments have rushed teams to the hill state to help bring back the affected persons and also announced aid.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has announced Rs. 1,000 crore for disaster relief measures in flood-devastated parts of Uttarakhand where 102 persons have
been killed and thousands left stranded at tourist spots and pilgrim centres.
Singh, who undertook an aerial survey of rain-ravaged Uttarakhand alongwith UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday, said what they saw was "most distressing" and the priority for the authorities was to rescue the stranded and provide succour to those most in need of it.
Over 10,000 personnel of the armed forces, 18 helicopters and a transport plane of the Air Force have been deployed for relief and rescue operations in the state where thousands have been stranded at tourist spots and pilgrim centres.
Intensifying relief and rescue operations, the government has pressed into service 22 helicopters to airlift those stranded by flash floods in Uttarakhand where the death toll has mounted to 182.
With the weather improving on Thursday, the government has agreed to the demand for the supply of additional food grains in the flood-hit areas.
Condoling the death of those killed in Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav has announced financial help of Rs. 25 crore to the neighbouring state.
"The CM has announced Rs. 25 crore financial help to natural calamity-hit Uttarakhand state and asked people to provide help to the state in any way," an official release said in Lucknow.
Yadav assured that the state government would provide all help for relief and rescue operation in Uttarakhand.
The Haryana government has announced a Rs. 10-crore assistance to calamity-hit Uttarakhand.
"Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda announced to give Rs. 10 crore to Uttarakhand to help the state as a rescue and relief operation has been launched there following floods triggered by heavy rain," a state government spokesman said in Chandigarh. Madhya Pradesh
Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has announced an assistance of Rs. five crore to the monsoon-ravaged Uttarakhand state where heavy
rains and landslides have created havoc.
Chouhan's secretary, Hariranjan Rao will work in coordination with the State's Resident Commissioner in New Delhi, Shailendra Singh for relief measures, sources said.
Besides, the state disaster management body has also started an Emergency Control Room headed by District Commandant, Santosh Jat (Mob No. 09926769808 and Landline No 0755-2556422) for providing relief to the stranded persons.
With hundreds of pilgrims from Punjab stranded near the Sikh shrine of Hemkund Sahib in the calamity-hit Uttarakhand, the Punjab government has hired a private helicopter to airlift them, a spokesman of the chief minister's Office said in Chandigarh on Wednesday.
He said the helicopter has been hired by the state government on the directions of chief minister Parkash Singh Badal.
The helicopter will be pressed into service in coordination with authorities in Uttarakhand to rescue the stuck pilgrims from Punjab, said the spokesman.
Karnataka government has sent a three-member team to Uttarakhand to ensure safety of people from the state stranded there due to floods.
"We are in constant touch with the Centre and Uttarakhand government to get information on safety of our people stranded in Uttarakhand," chief minister Siddaramaiah told reporters.
The government has also set up helplines to get information on Kannadigas going on pilgrimage and their whereabouts, Siddaramaiah said.
Moved by the plight of the people from Maharashtra stranded in flood-hit Uttarakhand, the state government Wednesday announced allocation of Rs.10 crore for their relief.
This amount would be utilized to arrange for helicopters, food, medicines and clothes and to bring them back to their home state, chief minister Prithviraj Chavan said in Mumbai.
According to information available, at least 1,353 pilgrims and tourists from all over Maharashtra have been stranded in different parts of Uttarakhand and surrounding areas hit by the massive floods in the past couple of days.
Gujarat government has offered a financial assistance of Rs. 2 crore to rain-ravaged Uttarakhand for relief and rescue operations.
Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi spoke to his Uttarakhand counterpart Vijay Bahuguna and offered assistance and help in rescue and relief operations to overcome the situation.
Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit has announced a financial assistance of Rs. 10 crore for flood-affected people of Uttarakhand.
"We have decided to provide a financial aid of Rs. 10 crore to Uttarakhand to help the flood-affected people," Dikshit said.
Chhattisgarh chief minister Raman Singh today announced an assistance of Rs. 5 crore to the flood ravaged Uttarakhand, where heavy rains and landslides have created havoc.
"Chief minister Raman Singh has announced to release Rs. 5 crore from the CM's relief fund to Uttrakhand government for the relief and rehabilitation of victims of the disaster," an official said in Raipur.
Other relief works
Different political parties in Uttarakhand including the ruling Congress and BJP, have asked their workers to offer help to the district administration in supplying relief material to people affected by the natural calamity triggered by incessant rains in the state.
The Army and the Air Force have stepped up relief operations in flood-and landslide-affected areas of Uttrakhand and Himachal Pradesh.
An official release said the relief and rescue operation in the two states were the largest such operations undertaken in several decades.
The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) has also deployed 3,000 of its personnel to clear roads in these states.
The release said Indian Air Forces's C-130 J aircraft was launched for reconnaissance as a part of "Operation Rahat" and 20 aircraft and helicopters were deployed for relief work.
Railways has decided to press services of special trains to rescue people stranded due to the flash floods at Haridwar, Rishikesh and other areas.
Railway minister Mallikarjun Kharge has instructed the Railway Board to do whatever possible to rescue people from the flood affected areas, said a senior railway ministry official.
Uttarakhand control room numbers (district-wise):
Pithoragarh - 05964-228050, 226326, 09412079945
Almora - 05962-237874, 09319979850
Nainital - 05942-231179, 09456714092
Udham Singh Nagar - 05944-250719, 250823, 09410376808
Chamoli - 01372-251437, 251077, 09411352136
Rudraprayag - 01364-233727, 09412914875, 08859504022
Uttarkashi - 01374-226461, 09675082336, 09410350338
Dehradun - 0135-2726066, 09412964935
Haridwar - 01334-223999, 09837352202
Tehri - 01376-233433, 09412076111
Bageshwar - 05963-220197, 09411378137
Champawat - 05965-230703, 09412347265
Pauri Garhwal - 01368- 221840, 08650922201
For information regarding pilgrims in Uttarakhand from different regions:
Madhya Pradesh - 0755-2556422, 09926769808
Maharashtra (Mantralaya numbers) - 022-220279990, 022-22816625, 022-22854168
Andhra Pradesh - 40234510
Uttarakhand State Emergency Operation Centre - 0135-2710334
General enquiry numbers - 0135-2710334, 0135-2710335, 0135-2710233
Army Medical Emergency numbers - 18001805558, 18004190282, 8009833388
Joshimath, Karnaprayag and Govindghat - 01372-253785
Uttarkashi - 01374-226126/161
Chamoli - 01372-251437
Rudraprayag - 01732-1077
Tehri - 01376-233433
ITBP helpline and control room - 011-24362892, 09968383478
Disaster Control Room, Police Headquarters, Uttarakhand - 0135-2717300, 09411112985
[ WITH INPUTS FROM HINDUSTAN TIMES AND OTHER AGENCIES ]