On their return,pilgrims

Tears and hugs welcomed the large group of residents from Pune district on their arrival at Pune railway station from flood ravaged Uttarakhand on Saturday evening.

Written by PRASAD JOSHI | Pune | Published:June 23, 2013 2:11 am

Tears and hugs welcomed the large group of residents from Pune district on their arrival at Pune railway station from flood ravaged Uttarakhand on Saturday evening. Relatives waited for their dear ones on the platform,where Hazrat Nizamuddin-Vasco da Gama Goa Express,carrying the group of over 90 stranded tourists,arrived at 4.15 pm.

The group had around 55 residents from Loni Dhamani village in Ambegaon Taluk of Pune District. Uddhav Lanke,group organiser,could not hold his tears recalling the ordeal he and his group members had undergone.

“Death was literally chasing us. We were hardly kilometres from the site where the calamity began,after we left Kedarnath. We were running for our lives in whatever possible conveyance we got,” said Lane with moist eyes.

These tourists narrated the mind-boggling scenes of nature’s fury they had witnessed on their return journey upto Delhi. “The water was cutting through everything that came on its way. Whether it were mountains or roads or trees. The weather and nature we enjoyed while going to Kedarnath suddenly became nasty and killers,” said 70-year old Ramaji Inge.

Parubai Kadam recalled crossing a stretch of around 1 km of road washed away in flood. “The Alakganga river was flowing with both banks full on our right side,while on the left there was mountains posing danger of caving in,” she told Newsline on her arrival.

Savitri Gupta from Dhankwadi,who went to Uttarakhand with her family and returned to Pune on Saturday,appreciated the efforts of the government in reaching out to stranded tourists. “We were offered food and accommodation at Maharashtra Sadan in Delhi. The authorities there also confirmed railway seats in Goa express and handed over financial aid of Rs 2,000,” she said.

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