Dehradun, June 22: Uttarakhand Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna on Saturday, June 22 said that at least 550 people died across the flood-ravaged state. Meanwhile, reports say 50,000 were still stranded in the region. Rescue operation team located 1,000 people in mountains between Gaurikund and Rambara in Kedarnath.
Amid the reports of difficult rescue operation in the region, news regarding helplessness of stranded pilgrims have been surfaced. According to sources, people were forced to pay Rs 250 for a 'paratha' and Rs 100 for a small pack of chips.
A taxi driver from the region was quoted as saying, "I had to pay Rs 40 for a small bowl of rice. There was no food available anywhere."
Expressing their disappointment, one of the tourists was quoted as saying, "Taxi drivers are demanding Rs 3,000 to 4,000 for a journey that would normally cost Rs 1,000. All our money has been exhausted. We are helpless."
Meanwhile another stranded pilgrim said, "Shopkeepers are selling a paratha for Rs 250 and a water bottle for Rs 200. It is terrible."
Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) spokesperson Deepak K Pandey on Saturday informed that about 8,000 people were still trapped in Kedarnath region that suffered massive damage due to rains and flash floods.
Pandey said stranded people were being brought to Govindghat and then taken to Joshimath through bus and other vehicles. In Joshimath, names of rescued people are being noted before sending them for onward journey to Dehradun, Haridwar and Rishikesh.
He said women, children and elderly were being sent through helicopters while the youth and able-bodied were being helped out through ropeway.
(With agency inputs)