Food scarcity continues in hundreds of hamlets in Darma valley, Vyas valley and Chaudas valley, Sobla and Kanjoti villages in Pithoragarh district in Kumaon division and several remote areas of Uttarkashi, Rudraprayag and Chamoli districts of Garhwal division that were cut off by last month’s deluge and landslips.
Angered by the slow pace of relief and rescue works, the ruling Congress MLA from Dharchula, Harish Dhami staged a dharna on Sunday, seeking immediate help for his constituency people. The Congress MLA from Kedarnath, Shaila Rani Rawat, has threatened to launch an agitation if food supplies were not provided to dozens of interior villages at the earliest.
“The villagers have lost everything and the government should at least provide food and shelter to them,” she said.
Villagers of Pilang urged the government to rush warm clothes and food. “Warm clothing need to be rushed to over 1,000 villages that are cut off as many people had lost their houses and were forced to live in the open,” said Dinesh Ramola and Kirti Saklani.
The authorities have been able to rush rations to about 450 villages by helicopters and labourers carrying bags of food material on foot and on mules. Helicopters cannot land at most of the ravaged villages in Uttarkashi, Chamoli, Rudraprayag, Pithoragarh and Bageshwar districts as the trekking routes have vanished.
Several elderly people voiced the opinion that the government hire ex-servicemen and SSB men to move supplies to the cut off villages.
A general anger prevails against the district-level disaster management officials for failing to rise to the occasion. “All the disaster management officials could do is to boast of preparedness and then vanish when the need arose,” said Virender Tamta in Dharchula.
Keywords: Uttarakhand floods, flash floods, landslips, Uttarakhand landslides, Uttarakhand rescue, disaster management, Indian Army rescue, Badrinath, Kedarnath, Rudraprayag, Pauri, Uttarakhand pilgrimage