56 out of the 61 pilgrims left in Uttarakhand are from Himachal Pradesh
The recent devastation in the Kedarnath Valley due to unprecedented flashfloods killed several pilgrims. 61 of them are alive and out of them 56 are from Himachal Pradesh, 26 from Kangra and 35 from Shimla. Most of the pilgrims from Dharamshala, Kangra District were scheduled to return from their holy yatra but due to the natural disaster they have now taken a refuge at a camp which is close to Agastya Muni, almost 25 kilometers from Kedarnath.
According to Prateek Sood, a counselor of Dharamsala Municipal Council, the group of pilgrims from Dharamshala, including his parents, Narender Sood and Manjulata were staying in a hotel in Kedarnath on Monday, when the tragedy took place.
He told us that, “The hotel was washed away in the floods. Fortunately my parents and other pilgrims staying there had evacuated it a few hours ago.” Sood, further added that the pilgrims had to spend two nights in the bus. With the level of water increased in the bus, it became tough for them to be in the bus, and they took a trek of 3 kilometers and took a refuge in a nearby village.
Sood further added that, “There was no communication with his family and the other pilgrims, but as soon as they reached Uttarakhand, they told us that they have reached Agastya Muni. They have traveled almost 25 kilometers to the Agastya Muni and are living in a camp set up.”
Sood also told us that he has approached the district administration and Urban Development Minister, Sudhir Sharma for help.
Another resident of Dharamsala, Ankur Mahajan, whose mother Shivkanta is among the same pilgrims told us that his mother contacted from Agastya Muni and she told him about the pathetic condition of the camp. Mahajan said, “We are worried about her health now. We have sought from government but till now no step has been taken to evacuate the pilgrim from the state.”
Other pilgrims from Himachal Pradesh who are stuck in various parts of Kedarnath valley include 35 people from Shimla, including 25 from Kumarsain and 10 from Rohru.
The UD Minister and local MLA, Sudhier Sharma told us today that, “The administration is trying to establish contact with the Uttarakhand administration and is considering airlifting the pilgrims from Agastya Muni.”