BENAGLURU: A day after it was reported that 80 Amarnath Yatra pilgrims from Karnataka were stranded due to inclement weather while returning from the cave shrine, the number has increased to 101, which includes 55 from Bengluru. The pilgrims are stranded at a camp while on their return due to heavy snowfall, uncertain weather and landslides.
The Amarnath Yatra had been temporarily halted due to incessant rain, snowfall and landslides. Most parts of Jammu and Kashmir have been witnessing adverse weather since Thursday night. Several hill areas like Mahaguns Top near the Amarnath cave shrine and adjacent areas, received snowfall. Some parts of the Valley has received the highest recorded rainfall in 24 hours.
The Yatra from Pahalgam and Baltal routes was suspended for the second day on Saturday due to inclement weather and Around 6,000 yatris were stuck in Ramban. The district administration said that all possible measures are being taken to ensure that the pilgrims get back to their hometowns safely.
Among those from Karnataka who are stuck, six are from Ballari, two from Chitradurga, 55 from Bengaluru, five from Dharwad and 23 from Gadag. They are in touch with the rescue teams.
Bengaluru-based Nagaraj, who is stranded in Amarnath, told Public TV that the situation was bad until Saturday, but that it was quite better on Sunday and hence, measures were being taken to airlift those who were. “We were all in the Panchatarani camp and they were shifting us to Srinagar. We stayed at the camp all night and are safe”, he said.
A special team, including officers of the State Disaster Management Authority, has been formed to coordinate the rescue of Kannadigas and the team is moving to Kashmir.
On Saturday, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah directed the authorities to ensure that pilgrims from the state are brought back safely as earliest and gathered updates from the rescue operation. The government has appointed ACS Rashmi of the Revenue Department to oversee the rescue pilgrims from the state who are stuck in Amarnath.