New Delhi, July 3: At least 1500 Indians pilgrims mostly comprising of Kailash Manasarovar pilgrims are believed to be stranded in the mountainous regions along the route of Kailash Mansarover Yatra in Nepal after heavy rains caused landslips at several locations.
Indian Embassy in Nepal said,''There are about 525 pilgrims stranded in Simikot, 550 in Hilsa & another 500 more in Tibet side. Mission has asked all tour operators to try & hold pilgrims back in Tibet side as far as possible since medical and civic facilities on Nepal side are inadequate.
''Tour operators have been told to accord 1st priority in clearing up situation in Hilsa,most infrastructure lean place in the area. Mission is trying to press in services of Nepal Army choppers,which have superior abilities of operating in difficult terrain,'' it further said.
The embassy is looking into various alternative routes for evacuation, it added. However, immediate evacuation may not be feasible as of now due to inclement weather.
Meanwhile, the Indian Embassy in Nepal has issued a hot line for pilgrims and their family members:
Hotline to contact language speaking staff:
The Kailash Manasarovar Yatra, which is being held between June 8 and September 8 this year, is organised by Ministry of External Affairs. The Yatra is organised on two routes - via Uttarakhand and via Sikkim.
In a similar situation in May 2016, around 500 Kailash Manasarovar pilgrims were stranded in Hilsa and Simikot in Nepal and were later evacuated.
Several pilgrims bound for Mount Kailash and Manasarovar in China's Tibet Autonomous Region take the Nepalgunj- Simikot- Hilsa route.
Since road connectivity in the region is weak, pilgrims solely rely on air services where they are flown from Nepalgunj to Simikot and later reach Hilsa via foot or helicopter services.