Kailash Mansarovar Yatra: Bad weather hampering evacuation

New Delhi, May 30 (IANS) Bad weather is hampering evacuation of pilgrims from the Nepalganj-Simikot-Hilsa route of the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra, the government said on Monday.

“Due to bad weather, only a limited number of sorties could be carried out on Simikot-Hilsa sector by helicopter yesterday (Sunday),” external affairs ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said.

“Around 50 pilgrims were evacuated from Hilsa to Simikot and around 100 from Simikot to Nepalganj,” he said.

Citing Nepal police, Swarup said there were currently around 250 pilgrims in Hilsa and a similar number in Simikot.

“Today (Monday) evacuation operations have started, but are being hampered by inclement weather,” he stated.

The spokesperson also said that the Indian embassy in Kathmandu was in touch with senior officers in Kathmandu, including the chief secretary, foreign secretary, home secretary, chief of army staff, and director general of military operations (DGMO) as well as senior police authorities on the ground.

“They are continuing to be seized of the matter and have assured all possible assistance subject to weather conditions,” he said.

Swarup said that while there was no shortage of essential items, the situation could be normalised only when regular air services could be undertaken in an uninterrupted manner everyday.

“Our mission is deploying First Secretary (Consular) Pranav Ganesh and a staff member to Simikot for situational awareness and coordinating with tour operators and Nepal government agencies on the ground,” he added.



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