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Mamata okays chartered flights to rescue pilgrims

The West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee announced that her government is arranging for chartered flights to bring back tourists stranded in rain-battered Uttarakhand.

This is the first time that the state government has taken the initiative to arrange chartered flight to bring back stranded people.

‘Arrangements have been made in both Delhi and Dehradun to bring back tourists and pilgrims from our state stranded in rain-devastated Uttarakhand… I pray the stranded visitors from West Bengal keep well and safely return home,’ Banerjee said at Writers Buildings.

‘Earlier, there was no such effort to bring back stranded passengers by chartered flight,’ Banerjee said. She has brought back bodies of six tourists from Himachal in the past.

About 1,200 tourists and pilgrims have already been brought back to West Bengal from the affected areas of Uttarakhand, she said, adding that there was also no report of any death belonging to the state who had gone to Uttarakhand.

Banerjee said she had asked the state’s transport minister Madan Mitra, who is in Uttarakhand to help stranded visitors from the state, to return and directed planning minister Rachpal Singh to stay back.

She said the state chief secretary Sanjay Mitra and home secretary Basudev Banerjee were keeping touch with Uttarakhand government.
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