NEW DELHI: Inclement weather is preventing the operation of flights to evacuate over 1,500 pilgrims stranded in Nepal and Tibet for the past week.
The Embassy of India, Kathmandu is monitoring the situation along Nepalganj-Simikot-Hilsa route of Kailash Mansarovar Yatra (through Nepal). As of July 3rd morning, the weather remains inclement and there is a very little chance of operating evacuation flights.
Additionally, there are about 525 pilgrims stranded in Simikot, 550 in Hilsa and another 500 more on Tibet side.
The Mission has taken the following actions so far:
1. It has placed its representatives in Nepalganj and Simikot, who are personally in touch with each and every stranded pilgrim. The representatives are ensuring that proper food and lodging facilities are made available to them.
2. The mission representative in Simikot has pressed in service of available medical practitioner in Simikot to get a health check up done for all the elderly pilgrims. In case of any medical complication, they are being given preventive medication and medical counseling of dos and don’ts.
3. The mission representative in Simikot is also in touch with authorities at police check post in Hilsa who have been requested to take care of all the pilgrims and ensure best possible assistance to them
4. Mission has asked all tour operators to try and hold pilgrims back in Tibet side as far as possible since the medical and civic facilities on Nepal side are inadequate. They have further been told to accord first priority in clearing up situation in Hilsa, which is the most infrastructure lean place in the area
5. Mission is looking at various alternatives of evacuating people from Simikot, including searching for alternative routes (Simikot Surkhet/Simikot-Jumla/Simikot-Mugu). All these routes, however, appear to be as difficult as Simikot-Nepalganj. It is also trying to press in services of Nepal Army helicopters, which have superior abilities of operating in difficult terrain
6. Mission is setting up a hotline for pilgrims and their family members. This would also comprise language speaking staff viz. Tamil/Telugu/Kannada/Malayalam
Pranav Ganesh, first secretary (consular): +977-9851107006
Tashi Khampa, second secretary (consular): +977-9851155007
Tarun Raheja, attache (consular): +977-9851107021
Rajesh Jha, ASO (community welfare): +977-9818832398, +977-9851165140
Yogananda (Hotline- Kannada): +977-9823672371
Pindi Naresh (Hotline: Telugu): +977-9808082292
R Murugan (Hotline- Tamil): +977-9808500642
C Ranjith (Hotline: Malayalam): +977-9808500644