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State ministers to donate one month's pay to U'khand

State ministers to donate one months pay to Ukhand

Thiruvananthapuram: Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and all his cabinet colleagues will donate their one-month salary to the relief and rehabilitation efforts in rain-ravaged Uttarakhand.

A meeting of the Cabinet Wednesday also decided to contribute Rs. 2 crore from the government kitty to the relief in the northern state.

Briefing reporters here, Chandy said seven pilgrims from Kerala, including sanyasins of Sivagiri Mutt, were today airlifted by military from the place they got stranded.

Referring to BJP's criticism that the state government had failed to promptly bring back the stranded pilgrims, Chandy said the evacuation was being carried out by the military which has its own protocol in such matters.

As soon as information was received of Keralites being stranded, government had explored the possibility of making its own arrangements for bringing back the pilgrims to Kerala. But it was clarified by the authorities concerned that the rescue efforts were being done by the military, who normally give priority to give those are stranded in most dangerous situations, Chandy said.

The pilgrims airlifted would be brought to Joshimath first and from there to Rishikesh and then to Delhi en route to Kerala, he added.

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