( CM talking to foreign tourists after their evacuation)

Two hundred fifty six tourists stuck up at Chandratal Lake in Lahaul – Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh after incessant rain , were rescued on Thursday by rescue teams under the supervision of  Revenue Minister Jagat Singh Negi and  Chief Parliamentary Secretary Sanjay Awasthi .

Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu, who is touring the rain ravaged areas in Kullu, Mandi and Kinnaur districts in an informal talk with the media persons said, “It was a big challenge to bring back hundreds of tourists from the Lake as helicopters requisition from the Indian Air Force could not undertake the evacuation due to continuous snowfall in the area.”

Praising Revenue Minister Jagat Singh, the CM, “As the IAF helicopters could not rescue the stuck up tourist I had deputed him and the CPS to lead the rescue operation; the minister and the CPS along with the rescue teams and JCBs reached Chandertal Lake at 2 am on Thursday after which 256 tourists were brought back to Kaza.”

“The first batch of sixty tourists was brought to Losar by the rescue teams and all 256 tourists have been brought back safely”, said the Revenue Minister.

The CM said,” During 60 hours nonstop rescue operation nearly sixty thousand people stuck up at various places by nearly one thousand rescue team members have been rescued and an ex-gratia grant of Rs fifty lakh is being distributed among the affected people, besides road connectivity , electricity and drinking water supply is being restored at war footing .”

He also went to Thunag in Mandi district and Kadchham, Kuppa and Sangla valley in Kinnaur district to meet affected people there and assured them of every possible help.

( CM at talking to affected people at Thunag)

Deputy Chief Minister talking to media persons at Mandi said, “This is the time of worst crisis as nearly 1000 water supply schemes of Jal Shakti department have been damaged.”

He said, “The department is making every effort to restore drinking water supply in the worst affected Kullu and Mandi districts and drinking water supply would be restored in Mandi town by Friday as engineers and workers are working round the clock.”

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