MALDA, 19 JUNE: At least 30 tourists from Malda, who went to Uttarakhand on a trip, have remained untraced, much to the worry of their relatives. It is also believed that a few more tourists who went to Uttarakhand privately are also stuck there.
The Tourism Minister, Krishnendu Choudhury, said the state government had already taken initiative to bringing back the tourists stuck in Uttarakhand after the formidable natural calamity there. The District Magistrate, Mr Godala Kiran Kumar, also assured that the district administration would contact the resident commissioner in Delhi for the safe return of those tourists.
Family members of those tourists informed that a team of 30 tourists had started from Chanchal on 10 June for Kedarnath and Badrinath in Uttarakhand by a private bus operated by a tour and travel agency.
Out of them, six went from Brahmanoara village alone. Mr Rabibdranath Mukherjee, Mr Bachchhu Mukherjee, Mr Haradhan Ganguly, Mr Balaram Mandal, Mr Gangaram Sarkar started for Uttarakhand along with others. But Kedarnath and Badrinath were hit by unprecedented flood and formidable tide following incessant rain. Formidable damage was caused to large number of lives and buildings.
Many persons were stranded by landslides and many more went missing. Helicopters are being used for rescue operations and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh have already declared a relief and rehabilitation package of Rs 1,000
Additional AI flight
KOLKATA, 19 JUNE: Air India will operate an additional flight from Delhi to Kolkata from 21 June for the benefit of West Bengal tourists stranded in the Uttarakhand floods. The one-way flight will take off from Delhi at 5.45 a.m, reaching Kolkata at 7.50 a.m. This additional flight will be operated "till the time it is required" an official said. AI already has four daily scheduled flights plying both ways between Kolkata and Delhi. sns