Indore: A pall of gloom has enveloped Betma and Hatod, in Indore district, after 24 of its residents perished in a bus accident in Uttarkashi. The bodies of the pilgrims will be brought back by train, officials said.
A large number of grief stricken people assembled outside Betma Police Station since Wednesday morning for news of their relatives who were in the two buses that left from Betma and Hatod for the ‘Char Dham Yatra’ on
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, expressing his condolences for the deaths, announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh each to the families of the dead, and Rs 50,000 to the injured persons. Chouhan also met Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Rawat to discuss the rescue operations.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also announced Rs 2 lakh compensation for the kin of the dead, and Rs 50,000 for those injured from the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund.
Chouhan also met Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu and requested for arrangements to bring back the dead bodies of the pilgrims from Dehradun to Indore via a special coach.
Police DG A.K. Patairiya and Delhi Residential Commissioner, Shri Prakash, will be leading the search and rescue operations in Uttarkashi for those missing.
Control rooms have been set up by the Madhya Pradesh government with helpline numbers, for Bhopal 0755-1079 and Indore 0731-100 and 0731-2449124.
Two buses with 57 pilgrims left from Betma and Hatod for the ‘Char Dham Yatra’ on May 12. It was while returning from Gangotri that one of buses fell into the Bhagirathi river near Nalupani in Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand on Tuesday night, killing 24 persons. Eight persons were severely injured.