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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Punjab hires private chopper to evacuate pilgrims trapped in Uttarakhand

Chandigarh - The Punjab government has hired a private helicopter to airlift the pilgrims stuck in Uttarakhand following flash floods, cloudbursts and landslips, triggered by incessant 340-mm downpour.

On the directions of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, who despite being on a visit abroad is continuously monitoring the current situation, the Punjab government has also constituted a four-member team of senior officers that has already left for Dehradun to monitor the ongoing rescue operations of the pilgrims, who had been trapped at various places in Uttarakhand due to bad weather, causing road blockades at several places.

The team would further visit Joshimath and Hemkund Sahib to minutely observe and coordinate the rescue operations. Punjab Chief Secretary Rakesh Singh, along with his officers, is keeping constant liaison with Uttarakhand administration to provide all type of help and support for this massive rescue operation at war footing.

Two days back, Badal had directed the Chief Secretary to extend all help and support to the Uttarakhand government in launching a massive operation to rescue the victims.

The Chief Minister had also directed the state government to take immediate necessary measures.Acting on the Chief Minister’s direction, Chief Secretary and Ropar MLA Daljit Singh Cheema had established a contact with the Uttarakhand government.

“The Punjab government is providing all type of assistance to the Uttarakhand government as rescue operation was going on at war footing,” claimed a state government spokesperson. A team, led by Special Secretary Education K S Pannu and DIG Khubi Ram and assisted by other police officers, has left for Dehradun to monitor the entire ongoing rescue operation.

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