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Central Govt. purposely didn’t declare Uttarakhand floods a national calamity: Ram Gopal Yadav

Kolkata, July 1 (ANI): The Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Ram Gopal Yadav on Monday said that the Central Government purposely did not declare the flood disaster in Uttarakhand a national disaster.

“The Central Government should have declared this as a national disaster. The interior minister is of the view that declaring it a national disaster will not make any difference, as everyone is already involved in the work. But all educated and intelligent people know that when any disaster is termed as a national disaster then it becomes the responsibility of the federal government to work towards providing relief and undertake rehabilitation in the state. To shy away from this responsibility the government is not declaring it as a national disaster,” said Yadav.

A fortnight after floods hit Uttarakhand killing hundreds of people and sweeping away numerous houses, latest reports suggest that the evacuation of all the stranded pilgrims and tourists is likely to be over by this evening.

Over 900 pilgrims were airlifted from Badrinath and 650 pilgrims reached Joshimath on foot yesterday. Rescuers from Army are engaged to locate the stranded pilgrims as well as locals on higher reaches in Pithoragarh.

Small helicopters from the Air force and private sector have been pressed into service to drop food packets to the villages totally cut off. About 200 such villages have been identified.

Over one lakh seven thousand and 600 stranded people have been evacuated from the affected areas so far.

Mass funeral of bodies was carried out in Kedarghati region earlier on Sunday. Ninety-four bodies have been cremated. DNA samples of the bodies, which could not be identified, have been preserved.

State Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna has said a 200-member team consisting of officials of various departments, including police, health, animal husbandry experts and sanitation, is being sent along with equipment provided by the NDRF to both Kedarnath and Rambada to extricate the bodies from the debris and expedite the process of their disposal.

Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde on Saturday said that over 900 people have lost their lives as per the reports received by him, and added that over one lakh five thousand people have so far been evacuated.

Shinde further said that the combing operations would be carried out in the next three to four days to make sure that none are still stranded.

“The Government of India is providing all assistance. We have also formulated a scheme of Rs. 1,95,000 for Uttarakhand,” he added. (ANI)