Hemkunt Sahib Yatra in Jeopardy – Air Rescues Being Conducted

CHAMOLI, Uttarakhand, India—With the incessant rains and cloudbursts in Uttarkhand, pilgrims visiting Sri Hemkunt Sahib have been stranded at Gurdwaras Joshi Math and Gobind Dham. Rescue operations are being conducted with the support of military forces who are making use of helicopters to rescue stranded people. A total of 22 helicopters have been sent to Uttarkhand by the Central Government to rescue an estimated 60,000 people, out of which around 3 helicopters are rescuing the pilgrims already at Gurdwara Hemkunt Sahib whose number is estimated around 2000.

All the devotees at Gobind Ghat have been evacuated and efforts are being made for the safety of the pilgrims at Gobind Dham. SGPC chief Avtar Makkar said that the Punjab Government has also sent a rescue helicopter and 300 pilgrims have arrived at safer places from Gobind Dham. The SGPC has also sent two trucks from Gurdwara Nadda Sahib which would distribute langar and medicines to the stranded sangat. A team of doctors has also been sent for the aid of the people.

Gurdwara officials in the area have stated that although the Gurdwara buildings and bridges have suffered a great deal of loss, all the Saroops of Guru Granth Sahib are safe.

Due to a great deal of landslides in the area, roadways have been blocked and the rescue operations are being mainly conducted via air routes primarily using the helicopters. However the Punjab CM has expressed the unavailability of helicopters at a large scale. Another problem being encountered by the government is the lack of enough helipads to land the helicopters in the area due to a wide amount of destruction caused by the floods.

The Akal Takht appointed Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh has appealed to the Sikh community to delay the yatra until conditions become safe.

Baba Taranjeet Singh informed that due to incessant  rains, water was released in Badrinath based dam which caused the flooding of Alaknanda River which subsequently caused heavy damages resulting in the flooding away of dozen vehicles including a helicopter. 4 saroops of Guru Granth Sahib were also immersed in water at Gurdwara Gobing Ghat. The Gurdwara buildings have also suffered heavy losses. Cloudburst triggered floods and landslides have halted the roadways in the area.

Indian PM Manmohan Singh and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi also examined the area and announced  a relief of Rs 200,000 to the families of the people who are dead and an amount of Rs 50,000 to injured people.

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  1. There is No news of sri himkund sahib by any news channel
    They have deliberately ignored to mention about sri himkund sahib.
    More si our prime minister himself is ignorant about people affected by floods in sri himkund sahib

  2. My family is stuck there at Gobinddham they managed to call me this morning (20june at 8PM) and we talked about 12mins they are fine but the bad news;which is surprising that they said only 2 small helicopters are operating which take only 5 ppl at a time they lined up whole day yesterday and today to get chance but no luck. I’m thinking if they lifting up with this speed how much time they will take to lift 3000-4000 sangat, I am so worried– where the news of big planes and 30 in total is coming from?

  3. The work done by Indian Army is full of appreciation in this disaster.Irrespective of cast and creed , they are trying to help all.At no point , the army has tried to take media initiative unlike our political leaders.All indian channels were full of news about hemkunth sahib.The pilgrims were not positive about utranchal state government and gurudwara officials.I hope gurudwara managements and government will have disaster management plan in place for future.

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