Rain mars relief operations in Uttarakhand

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Incessant rains in parts of Uttarakhand continued to hamper relief efforts today prompting authorities to commission the IAF’s C-130 Hercules aircraft to drop relief material to Kedarnath and other affected places.

The process of cremating bodies at the shrine town is already being carried out amid bad weather by a team of over 70 experts and trained personnel.

However, the special all-weather aircraft returned to Dehradun after making a sortie over the affected areas in Pithoragarh district without being able to airdrop relief material due to low visibility conditions, NDMA member in charge of relief operations in Uttarakhand V.K. Duggal told PTI.

The aircraft is expected to attempt another sortie later today to take relief material to affected areas in Pithoragarh, Rudraprayag, Uttarkashi and Chamoli districts, Duggal said.

The aircraft was loaded with relief material last night for Kedarnath and other affected areas, but so far it has not been able to drop the packages.

Relief operations in these worst-hit districts have almost been halted for the past few days due to rains and overcast conditions at most places which have made it difficult for the choppers to take off. The network of major roads and highways is still damaged, affecting transportation of foodstuff by road to the flood-hit areas.

There were reports of a cloudburst in Urgamghati in Chamoli district triggered by unrelenting rains since Sunday night, affecting about eight villages in the area.

Water level in Bhagirathi river in Uttarkashi has been constantly on the rise with villages of Tiloth and Joshiyara facing the danger of being inundated.

People living in houses located along the banks of the river have been asked to move to safer places, officials here said.

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