1,500 Indians returning from Kailash Mansarovar pilgrimage stranded in Nepal

KATHMANDU: Over 1,500 Indian nationals returning from the Kailash Mansarovar pilgrimage in Tibet have been stranded in Nepal due to heavy rain and bad weather.

The Indian Embassy here said in a statement that there are about 525 Indian pilgrims stranded in Simikot in Humla district, 550 in Hilsa others on the Tibet side.

The embassy is continuously monitoring the situation along Nepalganj-Simikot-Hilsa route of Kailash Mansarovar Yatra (through Nepal), the statement said, as the weather remains inclement and chances of operating evacuation flights appear minimum.

The embassy said it has placed its representatives in Nepalganj and Simikot, who are personally in touch with every stranded pilgrim. They are ensuring that proper food and lodging facilities are available to the pilgrims.

They have been told to accord first priority to clearing up the situation in Hilsa, which is lean in infrastructure compared to other areas.

The embassy has also asked all tour operators to try and hold pilgrims back on the Tibet side as far as possible since the medical and civic facilities on Nepal side are inadequate.

In Simikot a health check up has been carried out on all the elderly pilgrims and they are being provided required medical help.

The mission is also looking at various alternatives to evacuate the stranded people from Simikot, including through alternative routes through Simikot-Surkhet/Simikot-Jumla/Simikot-Mugu.

India has also requested the Nepal government for army helicopters to evacuate the stranded Indian nationals.

The embassy has already set up a hotline for pilgrims and their family members, which also comprises other language speaking staff for Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam speakers.

 

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PTI