Rescue operations gathered steam to save those who are still stranded across the hill state despite prediction of torrential rains and unfavourable weather on Wednesday.
The Met department has predicted torrential rains on Wednesday, which could trigger fresh landslides. Bad weather is also likely to obstruct the rescue operations in the upper regions of Uttarakhand.
Earlier, on Tuesday IAF evacuated 2,403 pilgrims stranded in the mountainous regions of flood-hit Uttarakhand. Nearly 8,000 persons are still stranded - most of them at Harsil and Badrinath - as rescue operations continued full swing with Border Roads Organisation completing construction of a bridge at Pandukeshwar which would facilitate evacuation of those stuck at Badrinath.
Cabinet Secretary Ajit Seth reviewed the rescue operations at a meeting of the National Crisis Management Committee which was attended by secretaries of 10 ministries concerned as well as senior officers of the Army, Air Force, ITBP, NDRF and BRO who have been involved in rescue efforts.
Braving inclement weather, the Indian Air Force conducted 53 sorties to air evacuate 535 persons stranded at various places in the flood-hit areas.
The Army was able to evacuate through the land route 895 persons from Badrinath and 338 from Harsil areas while the Indo-Tibetan Border Police evacuated 600 persons on the landroute from the Badrinath.
The National Disaster Response Force evacuated 35 persons most of whom were sadhus and porters from the Kedarnath and other areas.
200 stranded in Kinnaur
stOver 200 people remained stranded in rain-ravaged Kinnaur district for the past ten days as rescue operations were hampered and IAF and state choppers could not take off due to bad weather.
Choppers were positioned at Rampur, Rekong Peo to make sorties to Pooh, Nako, Gaybang and other places but weather conditions were not conducive due to rain and fog, officials here said.
The IAF and state choppers have so far evacuated 1,395 people but about 200 people, including local residents, are still waiting at various places for the choppers.
"We will start sorties as soon as weather improve and tryto evacuate maximum persons today," officials coordinating the chopper flights said.
The polling in Kinnaur Assembly segment of Mandi Parliamentary Constituency, which was earlier slated for June 23, will be held on June 27 at numerous places and over 52,000 voters would exercise their franchise.