NEW DELHI: The Indian Embassy in Kathmandu on Tuesday operated special helicopters to bring the mortal remains of two Kailash Mansarovar pilgrims, along with five accompanying passengers, to Kathmandu and Nepalganj respectively.
While Leela Narayanan Mandredath died in Simikot on Monday morning, possibly due to high altitude sickness, Satya Lakshmi Narayana Subba Rao Grandhi Veera Venkata suffered a heart attack in Tibet and was brought to Simikot Tuesday morning. All necessary assistance is being provided by the mission for early repatriation of the bodies to India.
Over 1075 pilgrims have been stranded in Simikot and Hilsa in Nepal and another 500 more on the Tibet side due to bad weather for the past week. The embassy has asked all tour operators to try and hold pilgrims back on the Tibet side as far as possible since medical and civic facilities on the Nepal side are inadequate. The mission in Kathmandu has been able to evacuate about 150 pilgrims from Hilsa to Simikot. While Hilsa lacks basic facilities, Simikot has decent boarding and medical facilities. The Nepal Army has kept a helicopter in state of readiness to operate the moment the weather improves.
The embassy, in liaison with local airport authorities and flight operators, operated 9 commercial flights on which 158 pilgrims were evacuated from Simikot to Nepalganj, which is a fairly big city with all modern facilities, three hours away from Lucknow by road.