Award-winning Malayali actress Manju Warrier and her 30-member film crew from Kerala were stranded in a remote village in flood-hit Himachal Pradesh.
The union minister V Muraleedharan was contacted for help, who in turn has reached out to Himachal Pradesh chief minister and sought immediate help. “Spoke to Himachal Pradesh CM on Malayalam film crew stuck in Chatru. Mandi district administration is in touch with stranded crew members. Evacuation efforts are on to bring them back to Manali today (August 20),” the minister of state for external and parliamentary affairs said.
The plight of the crew came to light after the ‘How Old Are You’ actress contacted her family in Kerala through a satellite phone on Monday night (August 19).
The crew has been camping for three weeks at Chatra, a scenic hamlet in the Himalayan valley and located over 80 km away from Manali, for the shooting of Sanal Kumar Sasidharan’s upcoming movie, Manju Warrier’s actor-brother Madhu Warrier told media personnel.
Besides the cinema crew and Sasidharan, nearly 200 people were stranded at the place due to inclement weather and there was a lack of transport and communication facilities, he said. “She made the call on a satellite phone. She said there is food for only two days in their reserve and she could speak only for some time,” he added.
Madhu Warrier appealed to the authorities to take urgent steps for the safe evacuation of those stranded and ensure that they were provided food.
Himachal Pradesh has been swept by incessant rains for the past few weeks, killing more than 30 people, and many areas are cut off due to landslides and bridge collapses. Hundreds of tourists are stranded in the state’s tribal Lahaul and Spiti district after a freak snowfall on Sunday (August 18) cut off roads in the region, officials said.
According to officials, about 150 tourists were stuck in Chandra Tal lake near Kaza town. The crescent-shaped lake is situated at an altitude of about 4,300 metres or 14,100ft in the Himalayas.