Tamil Nadu team hanging back with hope

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Chennai: Even as over 350 pilgrims have arrived home safely from Uttarakhand with the help of the state government, the Tamil Nadu high level delegation camping at Dehradun to coordinate the rescue efforts has deferred returning home by a few more days. 
 
They are making all out efforts to establish contact with 11 missing pilgrims from the state who are believed to be stranded at a stretch that is said to be unapproachable even by air. 
 
On Sunday evening, the anxious Tamil Nadu officials were closely monitoring the reports trickling into the state control room established there hoping to get some “good news” on the 11 pilgrims.
Sources in the TN delegation at Dehradun told this paper on Sunday that as many as 11 pilgrims were still stranded in Gaurikund-Kedarnath sector, which cannot be reached even by air. 
 
“Even helicopters could not land at the location where the 11 pilgrims are said to be stranded,” said a team member, adding that they were making all efforts to reach them in coordination with the local officials and national disaster response force personnel. The officials spoke to other members of the stranded pilgrims group who managed to reach Dehradun. 
 
“There were originally 36 people in the group that had come from Villupuram. Barring the 11, most of them have reached their home, including the 13 who were rescued Saturday.” However, TN officials are in constant touch with the rescue teams hoping that the pilgrims could be saved soon. 
 
“Once the helicopters reach the place, they could be rescued easily. A few rescue personnel were paradr­opped there on Sunday and we hope to hear good news from them soon,” said the Tamil Nadu team.

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