THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A total of 135 Keralites who were stranded in the flood-affected areas of Jammu and Kashmir have been evacuated, Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala said in New Delhi on Thursday.
They were rescued by the efforts of the control room that has been set up by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy’s order in order to ensure the safety of Keralites affected by the flood.
As per current data available with the government, 332 Malayalis have been stranded in the state, of which 269 are tourists while 63 are Central Government employees. Measures have been taken to bring them back to Kerala, Chennithalasaid.
Earlier, Chandy had requested the Primer Minister and the Union Civil Aviation Minister to rescue the Keralites who have been stranded at various hotels in and around Srinagar, while Chennithala has been in New Delhi since Tuesday coordinating evacuation procedures with the Jammu and Kashmir Government, the officials said.
Around 150 people are stranded at Hotel Royal Bhattu, Dal Lake, while 50 are reportedly seeking help at New Mamata Hotel, Khonakhan. Another 41 are stranded at Hotel Centre Point in Bishamber Nagar, Khayam.
Rescue operations are in full swing with a 24-hour control room having opened at Kerala House, New Delhi, which is being headed by Resident Commissioner Dhyanesh Kumar and Additional Resident Commissioner Rachna Shah with staff of the Kerala House also working day and night to assist evacuation, officials said.
Details regarding the stranded persons can be sought at the helpline numbers available 24x7 - 01130411411 and 01123347456 - that are functioning at Kerala House in New Delhi or via the email address email@example.com.
The authorities are also in touch with various tour operators to collect the details of Keralites in Jammu and Kashmir with owners of major operators in attendance at Kerala House.
The evacuated Keralites have been provided wit food and accommodation at the Kerala House with an agreement reached with the Maharashtra Sadan when more of them are expected to arrive.
At the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi, controller S Vishwanatha Pillai, protocol officer B Harindran Nair, assistant protocol officer K J Joseph, Norka Roots assistant manager R M Feroze Shah and Norka deputy secretary R Venugopalan Unnithan have been stationed to welcome the Malayalis who return from the flood-affected areas of Jammu and Kashmir.