75 Odia pilgrims stranded in Badrinath; Odisha seeks support from Uttarakhand govt

Chamoli/Bhubaneswar: 75 pilgrims from Odisha are now stranded in Badrinath following intense snowfall in past two days. As per reports, 42 persons from Bhanjanagar in Ganjam district and 33 from Kamarda area of Balasore district are now stranded in Uttarakhand.

Following the media reports, Odisha government today swung into action urged Uttarakhand government for rescuing and providing adequate assistance to stranded pilgrims from the State.

Bijaya Prusty, a relative of one of the stranded pilgrims informed that the 42 pilgrims from Odisha who had taken shelter at a guest house were returning in a bus to Kedarnath from Badrinath.

On the other hand, the 33 pilgrims of Kamarda area in Balasore are also stranded in Badrinath since yesterday.

“Till last information, they had taken shelter at an Army camp while we could establish contacts with them today,” said Bhabani Sahu, a family member of one of the pilgrims.

“33 Odia pilgrims of Kamarda area are safe in Badrinath,” said Balasore Additional Collector.

Earlier, Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan also spoke to Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat and requested him for the safe return of the pilgrims.

Responding to Pradhan’s request, Rawat tweeted, “I have issued orders for the safe evacuation of all the pilgrims of Odisha who are stranded here. We will take steps to ensure the safety & security of everyone.”

Meanwhile, Tourism and Culture Minister Ashok Panda informed that Joint Relief Commissioner has written a letter to the Chamoli district administration for safety and security of the stranded pilgrims. Besides Tourism Secretary Vishal Deb will speak to the Chamoli Collector and necessary steps will be taken, he added.

Meanwhile, Ganjam collector Vijay AmrutaKulange informed that money will be credited into the bank accounts of the stranded pilgrims.