The Indian Embassy in Kathmandu has geared up the machinery to rescue a total of 1,575 pilgrims to Kailash Mansarovar who are stranded in Nepal and Tibet because of the inclement weather.

According to sources in New Delhi, the mission in Kathmandu has pressed seven commercial flights in the rescue operation and has been able to transport 104 pilgrims to Nepalgunj, a safer transit point, from Simikot in far western Nepal bordering Tibet.

There are now 550 pilgrims stranded in Hilsa, 421 in Simikot, on the Nepal side, and another 500 in Tibet.

“As we are busy shifting the pilgrims stranded on the Nepal side, we have advised those on the Tibet side to remain there as there are better facilities,” sources added.

The embassy is said to be continuously monitoring the situation along Nepalganj-Simikot-Hilsa route of Kailash Mansarovar Yatra. As of Tuesday, the weather situation remained inclement and there was very little chance of operating evacuation flights.

The Indian mission has deployed representatives in Nepalganj and Simikot, who were personally in touch with each and every stranded pilgrim. These representatives were ensuring that proper food and lodging facilities were available to all the pilgrims.

The representative in Simikot has pressed into service available medical practitioners in Simikot to get a health check-up done for all elderly pilgrims. In case of any medical complication, they were being given preventive medication and medical counselling of dos and don’ts.

The embassy representative in Simikot was also in touch with police authorities at police check post in Hilsa and has requested them to take care of all the pilgrims and ensure best possible assistance to them.

The mission has also asked all tour operators to try and hold pilgrims on the Tibet side as far as possible since the medical and civic facilities on the Nepal side were inadequate. They have further been told to accord first priority in clearing up the situation in Hilsa.

The embassy has set up a hotline for pilgrims and their family members with information and communication facilities in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam assigning following officials on duty.