Dehradun: Rescue of pilgrims stranded in Badrinath came to an end on Tuesday with about 150 of them being safely evacuated even as the administration struggled with the task of supplying relief materials to remote parts of Uttarakhand where food grain shortage has been reported in 170 villages.
    
On the 17th day of the calamity, the task of extricating bodies from the debris and their disposal in Kedarnath also remained a major headache for the administration with no cremation having taken place there over the past two days. The number of bodies cremated there so far is still pegged at 36.

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Chamoli District Magistrate SA Murugesan said, "All the pilgrims stranded in Badrinath dham have been evacuated. Now some locals and Nepali labourers remain there who will be evacuated by this evening if the weather permits."

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However, supply of relief to affected villages continues to pose a challenge to the administration with a vast network of roads and bridges still damaged in the area, he said.
    
The bridge over Alaknanda at Lambagar is badly damaged which will take at least 2-3 months to be repaired, he said, adding that the BRO is working on it.

Officials said taking relief material to remote villages due to poor connectivity is a major problem. Though choppers are being used for the purpose the exercise is confined to just a few areas, they said.
    
With Gaurikund-Kedar Highway still closed, there is foodgrain shortage in at least 170 villages in Kedarghati area in Rudraprayag district, officials said.

But relief material has been dispatched to Kalimath, Chandrapuri and Sauri areas in the district. Gangotri Highway in Uttarkashi district is blocked at eight points while Yamunotri Highway is closed from Hanumanchatti to Yamunotri making it difficult to take relief material to affected villages.

Met department predicts more rains in U’Khand

More than two weeks after the catastrophic rains wreaked havoc in the hill state of Uttarakhand, the meteorological department has once again issued warnings of more rains in the state.

According to the warnings of Met department, rains ranging from 70-130 mm a day, may hit several parts of rain-ravaged Uttarakhand from July 4-7. Though the magnitude of rains predicted is lower than the over 300 mm that fell on June 16-17, it could hit the rescue and rehabilitation operations of the state government badly.

Met department is expecting ‘heavy rains’ on July 5-6. One hopes that this time the state government does not turn a blind eye to the warnings of the Met department.

CRPF donates Rs 18 for U’Khand victims

The  CRPF on Tuesday handed over a cheque of more than Rs 18 crore to Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde for relief of Uttarakhand flash flood victims.
    
Personnel of the paramilitary force had contributed a day's earning totalling Rs 18,01,46,637 and the cheque was presented by their chief Pranay Sahay along with senior officers to Shinde at his North Block office.
    
CRPF has also sent two trucks of relief material for the victims.

(JPN/Bureau)

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