Home Minister Amit Shah said on Thursday that so far 64 people have been killed in the Uttarakhand floods and more than 11 were still missing.
Mr. Shah, who took an aerial survey of the flood-affected region in the hill State, said that 535 people have been rescued and more than 16,000 people evacuated.
He said due to the timely weather warning by the Centre, the State government prepared better and many lives could be saved.
The Home Minister said 80% of the phone lines had been restored but some roads had been completely washed away.
“New roads will have to be constructed by cutting through the mountains. A portion of railway track has also been washed away, efforts are on to fix it,” he said.
The Minister, flanked by Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami and Rajya Sabha member Anil Baluni, briefed the media after the aerial survey. He said the Char Dham yatra had been resumed and none of the pilgrims were missing or killed in the floods.
“This was possible because of advance alert sent by the Centre. Alert was sent around 2.30 p.m. on October 16, mobile phone users were alerted and people were asked to stay indoors, this minimised the loss of lives,” he said.
Of the two trekking teams that were missing, one had been tracked and efforts were on to rescue them, he said. Electricity has been restored in 60% of the area affected.
A team of officials from the Home Ministry will soon visit the State to assess the damage. Mr. Shah said that a few days ago ₹250 crore was released to the State for disaster management.
The Minister added that 17 teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), 60 teams of the State Disaster Response Force, 15 companies of Provincial Armed Constabulary and 5,000 policemen were involved in relief and rehabilitation work.