Srinagar: J&K Lt Governor Manoj Sinha on Thursday said the rescue operations near the Amarnath cave following last week’s flash floods triggered by cloudburst has more or less ended.
Briefing a select group of journalists in Srinagar, Sinha said a total 15 people died due to the cloudburst on July 8.
“Out of them, 14 bodies were handed to their kin and sent to their home states while one was cremated here itself,” Sinha said.
He said 55 persons were injured due to cloudburst and only two are still in a Srinagar hospital and they may be discharged in the next one or two days.
Lt Gov said every pilgrim is insured with Rs 5 lakhs already, and the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) has decided to provide additional Rs 5 lakh to the next of kin (NoKs) of those who lost lives in cloud burst incident
Sinha said that no pilgrim is missing as of now.
“The helplines operated by administration and SASB got 200 calls. We tracked those reporting as missing for 3-4 days. We are also in constant touch with the state governments. As of today we largely have no official information on any person still missing,” he said.
On allegations that warnings of past flash floods in previous years were ignored, Sinha said the Irrigation and flood control department had built an embankment keeping in mind the flood pattern of last year and in 2015.
“I spoke to several experts who say that tragedy would have been much more had the bund not been there,” he said
On the high number of pilgrims Sinha said the Supreme Court had set up an expert panel that has been deciding on the number of pilgrims to be allowed.
“Until two years, 7500 were allowed from both routes (Nuwan and Baltal). Last year, shrine boards ramped up facilities and based on that panel increased the limit to 10000 pilgrims,” he said.
Lt Governor said compared to past years, infrastructure and other facilities for Amarnath Yatra were improved this year.
He said they have requested Surveyor General of India to conduct a Digital Contour Mapping of Amarnath Cave Shrine and its adjoining areas so that steps are taken to prevent losses due to natural calamities.
“We are in touch with experts on what more can be done,” he said.