Dehradun: Defence helicopters on Friday rescued nearly 60 people, mostly pilgrims to Gangotri shrine, from Harsil area of flood-hit Uttarkashi district in Uttarakhand even as relief operation continued on a war-footing.
"Today, the relief operation is continuing and MI-17 helicopters rescued nearly 60 stranded people from Harsil," said chief secretary Alok Kumar Jain.

Despite inclement weather conditions, the choppers managed to airlift the 60 stranded people who were mostly pilgrims of Gangotri shrine, he said.

Jain said efforts are being made to airlift the remaining stranded people from different parts of the affected areas.

Harsil had been totally cut off from the rest of the country after a big stretch of highway and bridges collapsed on Saturday due to cloudbursts and heavy rains.

Jain said relief work in the affected areas continued on a war-footing with the army, ITBP and others working round-the-clock to provide succor to the affected people.

Meanwhile, chief minister Vijay Bahuguna has asked Defence Minister A K Antony and Highways Minister C P Joshi for reconstruction work of the damaged highways on a war footing.

Bahuguna told Antony that Uttarakhand was prone to disasters of various kinds and the recent monsoon had wrecked havoc to the road infrastructure of the state.

Bahuguna urged Antony to provide sufficient resources, manpower and machinery to deal with the disaster.

Joshi assured Bahuguna of all possible help to the state. He said BRO would repair the roads and bridges at Gangotri route in 10 days to facilitate a temporary traffic flow.


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