Adventurers, botanists too victims of rain tragedy

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UTTARAKHAND_1Karnprayag, June 28;Botanists, trekkers, census volunteers and disaster management trainees are some of the other enthusiasts of the hills, apart from pilgrims and tourists, who were stranded and trapped in the rain fury, but later rescued by relief agencies.

“We have rescued a batch of 15 botanists from Yamunotri area who had come from a Delhi-based institute for research work. Not only were them, a small batch of 10 people who were learning the art of census in thinly populated areas evacuated from two areas in the Garhwals,” a top officer supervising rescue and relief operations told PTI.

A number of trekkers, hailing from various states like Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, were also rescued from Kedarnath and Badrinath axis, an Army aviation officer said.

An IAF Mi-17 flying in from Gaurikund to the Gauchar helipad brought five volunteers of a Odisha-based disaster management institute, affiliated to the government.

“After ten days of rescue I can say people from all walks of life, who love the hills, are among those who faced nature’s fury. These people were also surprised to have been trapped by floods and rains, as many of them were regulars to these ranges,” a senior IAF officer said.

The Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) personnel rescued a batch of young para-gliding enthusiasts from the Harsil area.

“Nature’s fury knows no one. My teammates are now in Dehradun after we were evacuated from Harsil. Our gadgets have been destroyed somewhat but all of us are safe,” Oliver B, a tourist from Maharashtra said after he was rescued along with five others, who had gone trekking in the area.

Some young police recruits, hailing southern Indian states had come to Uttarakhand for river rafting and they were trapped in Badrinath area. They were also rescued after they could not touch base here, an ITBP officer said.

The Garhwal Himalayas in Uttarakhand offer a wide variety of herbs and shrubs for plant biologists and a number of places in these high reaches are hot spots for adventure sports enthusiasts.

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