Dehradun, June 21: Over 550 people were reportedly dead in the massive natural disaster that hit the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand earlier this week. Over 50,000 people were evacuated by air and land routes by the army and other forces from the affected areas, reports added. The temple town of Kedarnath has been the worst hit, Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) sources said.
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna said the army and ITBP spotted several bodies, either floating in water or buried in the mud, between Gaurikund and Kedarnath. bahuguna, who was speaking to a major news channel, said his government had a massive work in hand to save several lives.
Air India on Friday declared concessional fares for flood-hit passengers flying out from Dehradun and joined Pawan Hans Helicopters Limited (PHHL) to deploy resources to help in the rescue operations in the ravaged state.
The national carrier said it would charge only 50 per cent of the basic fare for those travelling from Dehradun to any part of the country. The top brass of the carrier, including CMD Rohit Nandan, donated a day's salary for the distressed people and appealed to other staff members to make similar contribution.
The PHHL had deployed three helicopters for the search operations.
Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde on Friday admitted that was problem of coordination in the relief work. He is said to have appointed a new official to oversee the operation.
Former army chief General Shankar Roy Chowdury slammed the National Disaster Management Authority, asking what was its actual job.
Union minister Manish Tewari said Rs 145 crore relief package has been sanctioned from the state disaster relief fund.