New Delhi: Union Home Minister Amit Shah conducted an aerial survey of rain-hit areas of Uttarakhand on Thursday (October 21) to asses the damage pegged at Rs 7,000 crore. Shah hailed the ‘alertness’ of the central and state government agencies had helped contain the damage.
“Sixty-four unfortunate rain-related deaths have been reported in the state, while more than eleven people are still missing,” Shah said. While, Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami claimed that three days of incessant rains in the state have caused damages worth Rs 7,000 crore.
Amit Shah was accompanied by Uttarakhand Governor Lt Gen (retd) Gurmit Singh, the chief minister Pushkar Dhami, Union Minister of State for Defence Ajay Bhatt and state Disaster Management Minister Dhan Singh Rawat, to undertake aerial survey of the affected areas.
“A heavy rain alert was issued well in advance which helped take required precautionary steps like halting the Chardham Yatra. The damage could have been more if it was not done. Timely mobilisation of search and rescue teams, and arrival of IAF helicopters to assist in rescue operations helped minimise the potential damage,” Shah told reporters at the Jollygrant airport, as per PTI report.
The relief and rescue operations continued in worst-hit Kumaon region amid efforts to restore connectivity and evacuate people from vulnerable areas. Restoring the network of damaged roads and bridges at the earliest and evacuating people to safety is the priority at the moment. The Centre is with the state government and it will give all support to Uttarakhand in its rehabilitation efforts, Shah said.
On October 19, Uttarakhand registered 45 more deaths. Of these, the highest number of deaths (28) were reported in Nainital, six in Almora, eight in Champawat, two in Udham Singh Nagar and one in Bageshwar.
Meanwhile, the Chardham Yatra which was halted temporarily on October 18 resumed with pilgrims leaving for Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri and Yamunotri from Rishikesh Chardham bus terminal and Haridwar bus stand.