Kathmandu, 5 June : The government continues the rescue efforts meant for Indian pilgrims left stranded at Simikot and Hilsa due to torrential rains while returning from Kailash Mansarovor (Lake) in Tibet.
The Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation has said all mechanism including helicopters have been operated to rescue the Indian pilgrims stranded in the mountainous region. Adverse weather condition earlier for a couple of days had its impact on the rescue operations. Rescue works via helicopters are going on effectively since Tuesday, as said by the Ministry.
Adverse weather had disrupted air flights on July 1 and 2, hampering the works to bring stranded pilgrims back to the destination. According to Ministry Spokesperson, Ghanshyam Upadhyay, 553 pilgrims are currently at Simikot and 300 are at Hilsa. If weather favours, all stranded pilgrims are likely to be rescued by tomorrow.
The local administration, Nepal Army, Nepal Police are jointly working to rescue them via helicopters of Tara, Simrik and Summit Airlines.
Earlier, three (Indian) pilgrims died of high-altitude sickness at the Kailash Mansarovar while four died while returning from the site, the Ministry said. Last year, the death toll (of Indian Mansarovar pilgrims) due to high-altitude sickness was 21.
Stranded pilgrims are staying in hotels and no problem is reported in food and accommodation facilities for them.
Tourism Minister Rabindra Adhikari on Tuesday tweeted that 160 stranded pilgrims were airlifted to Nepalgunj.
In his tweet addressed to Indian Minister for External Affairs, Sushma Swaraj, Minister Adhikari wrote that helicopters transported 250 pilgrims to Simikot from Hilsa, adding that rescue operations would continue.
Around 1,600 Indian Kailash Mansarovar pilgrims are reported stranded at Simikot Airport and Hilsa along the Nepal-Tibet border in Humla due to torrential monsoon rains.
As stated by Krishna Gautam, information officer for Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) office in Nepalgunj, works of airlifting Indian pilgrims from Simikot and Hilsa to Nepalgunj are underway since yesterday.
Summit, Sita and Tara Airlines are operating 10-12 flights per day to bring Indian pilgrims from Humla to Nepalgunj, Banke. A flight can accommodate up to fourteen people.
Banke Chief District Officer, Ramesh Kumar KC said around 150 Indians were brought from Simikot to Nepalgunj and proper arrangements are in place for their food and accommodations. Pilgrims are requested to contact with the local administration, police or related travel agency in case of any discomfort.
As stated by him, there seems no problem to send rescued pilgrims to Kathmandu from Nepalgunj airport.
People’s News Monitoring Service