The number of travellers from Karnataka stranded in flood-hit Jammu and Kashmir went up to nearly 650 on Wednesday even as rescue operations continued. The State Disaster Management Cell claimed that about 200 people had been rescued so far.
The special team from Karnataka that reached the flood-hit areas on Tuesday were able to confirm that about 70 people had flown from Srinagar to New Delhi. Nitesh Patil, Officer on Special Duty to Secretary, Revenue Department and Disaster Management Cell, said there were no direct flights to Bangalore from Srinagar at present and people had to travel via New Delhi.
K. Manjunath from Chitradurga has two relatives stranded in the Valley. While their mobile phones were rendered useless after getting wet, the two, who had taken a packaged tour, informed Mr. Manjunath on Wednesday afternoon that they were boarding a flight to Bangalore from New Delhi. “How they reached Delhi and where they were stranded, we don’t know yet. We will have to wait for them to return,” he told The Hindu.
More than 100 tourists from the State, who have been rescued from the Valley, are camping at the Raj Bhavan in Srinagar and waiting to be airlifted to reach the airport as the connecting roads are damaged.
K.S. Girish, a resident of Bangalore, whose two cousins had gone on a tour to Ladakh, said they were yet to return. “Though they called on Tuesday morning to tell us that they were staying at the Governor’s house, we haven’t made any contact after that,” he said.
Arrangements were made for 30 people to fly from the Raj Bhavan helipad to the Srinagar airport.
Meanwhile, the State government has contributed Rs. 5 crore to the Jammu and Kashmir relief fund, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said at a press conference.
People who want to return to Karnataka can contact the joint resident commissioners of the Karnataka Bhavan, New Delhi, for any help — Suprasanna (09868393971) and Shambhu Lingappa (09868393989).