Saturday, Apr 01, 2023

LIVE: Uttarakhand Floods | Amit Shah Conducts Aerial Survey Of Rain-Hit Areas, Rescue Operations Underway

LIVE: Uttarakhand Floods | Amit Shah Conducts Aerial Survey Of Rain-Hit Areas, Rescue Operations Underway

Union Home Minister Amit Shah arrived in Dehradun late on Wednesday to take stock of the flood situation in Uttarakhand after over 50 were killed in rain-related incidents in the state.

NDRF personnel rescuing civilians stranded following heavy rains at Chhara village near Nainital, Uttarakhand. Photograph provided by National Disaster Response Force (NDRF)

Uttarakhand rains claimed at least 46 lives with many people still trapped under the rubble after landslides.

Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami on Wednesday toured rain-hit areas of Kumaon which bore the brunt of the last three days of incessant rainfall.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah is also coming to Dehradun on Wednesday evening to take stock of the situation, officials said.

In view of the incessant rains, CM Dhami reiterated his appeal to Chardham yatris to stay where they are and not to resume their journeys before the weather improved.

Dhami has already visited affected areas in Rudraprayag, Nainital and Udham Singh Nagar districts. On Wednesday, he will be visiting his constituency Khatima, Champawat and Almora.

Almora and Champawat districts have accounted for the highest casualties in Kumaon division after Nainital.

Dhami has instructed officials to prepare an estimate of the damage caused by the heavy rainfall.

"The number of casualties in Kumaon region alone has crossed 40," DIG Nilesh Anand Bharne said.

Of the 42 fresh deaths, 28 people were killed in Nainital district, six each in Almora and Champawat and one each in Pithoragarh and Udham Singh Nagar districts, the official said.

The connectivity to Nainital was restored in the evening after hours of struggle amid inclement weather, officials said.

 Chief Minister Dhami undertook an aerial survey of the rain-hit areas and later interacted with the affected people on ground zero to make an assessment of the damages caused.

 He announced a compensation of Rs 4 lakh each to the next of kin of those killed in rain-related incidents across the state over the last two days.

 Director General of Uttarakhand Police Ashok Kumar, who accompanied Chief Minister Dhami on a visit to the rain-hit areas of the Kumaon region, said roads, bridges and railway tracks have been damaged in Kathgodam and Lalkuan in Nainital and Rudrapur in Udham Singh Nagar.

It will take at least four-five days to repair the damaged tracks, Kumar said.

 Three Indian Air Force (IAF) helicopters have arrived in the state and are assisting in relief and rescue operations. Two of them have been deployed in Nainital district, which has suffered extensive damage due to cloudbursts and landslides, Dhami said.

According to a rough estimate, around 100 pilgrims from different parts of Gujarat who had gone to Uttarakhand for the Chardham Yatra were stranded following heavy rains and landslides, Gujarat Revenue Minister Rajendra Trivedi said.

The National Disaster Response Force has rescued over 300 people from flood-affected areas of Uttarakhand, the federal force said on Tuesday.

The NDRF has deployed 15 teams in the state.

Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh witnessed four fatalities in rain-related incidents. Heavy downpour in Kerala filled several dams to the brim and multiple districts were on alert.

(With PTI inputs)