Ganjam: As many as 42 Odia pilgrims from Ganjam district have been stranded in Badrinath, Uttarakhand due to intense snowfall. Taking prompt action, Odisha Joint Relief Commissioner PR Mohapatra today shot off a letter to the Chamoli district Collector requesting him to extend necessary support to the pilgrims.
In the letter, Mohapatra said, “42 pilgrims of Ganjam district with Guide Bhagaban Suar on their return journey from Badrinath have been stranded at Dharmasala due to snowfall. As ascertained by one of the pilgrims, Bijay Patra, the people are straving without food since last night and facing various problems due to power cut.”
The Joint Relief Commissioner urged the Chamoli district Collector to provide necessary support to the stranded labourers and make arrangements for their safe return to Odisha.
Sources said the pilgrims were returning from Badrinath after taking Darshan when the road got blocked following snowfall. The pilgrims later took shelter at Hariyali Bhawan at Dharmasala in the district.
“Yesterday, the road was blocked with 3-4 feet snow the whole day though snowfall has stopped now. There is no food, water and electricity here since last night,” said a pilgrim over phone.
Meanwhile, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan urged Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat to initiate measures for the security and safe return of the pilgrims to Odisha.
In response, Singh assured that steps will be taken to safely evacuate all the pilgrims soon.