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Fresh landslips, rains hamper rescue work in Uttarakhand

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Fresh landslips, rains hamper rescue work in Uttarakhand
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Dehradun: Fresh spell of rains and landslips at a number of places including the higher reaches of Pauri, Chamoli and Rudraprayag districts today hit rescue operations in Uttarakhand where 10,000 survivors still remained to be taken to safety.

Not a single chopper has so far been able to take off from Sahasradhara helipad to rescue stranded pilgrims at Badrinath and affected pockets adjacent to it

The same is the situation in Guptkashi and Gauchar from where no helicopter has so far been able to take off because of a thick veil of mist enveloping the area and intermittent rains.

"About 5000 people are yet to be evacuated from Badrinath and not even a single chopper has so far been able to take off from Sahasradhara helipad here to rescue stranded pilgrims at the shrine and affected pockets adjacent to it," Retd Wing Commander Capt R S Brar, who has been entrusted with the task of overseeing air rescue operations in the affected areas, told PTI.

"I am myself sitting in an aircraft since this morning waiting for the weather to clear up so that we could start our operations," he said.

However, one redeeming fact is that relief material like food packets and medicines have been made available to people stranded at most places including Badrinath, he said.

Reports from Chamoli and Pauri districts said it was raining in the higher reaches hampering chopper operations. The state capital Dehradun was also drenched with rain.

Fresh landslips on Badrinath highway have also choked the route.

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