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Updated: June 28, 2013 04:32 IST
Uttarakhand Floods

Starvation, illness loom large in Garhwal, Kumaon

C. K. Chandramohan
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The armed forces shoulder the mammoth task of rescuing the flood-affected people in Uttarakhand. Here, a child finds safety in the hands of a soldier at Junglechati on Thursday.
PTI The armed forces shoulder the mammoth task of rescuing the flood-affected people in Uttarakhand. Here, a child finds safety in the hands of a soldier at Junglechati on Thursday.

2,400 stranded at Badrinath, doctors warn of epidemics in Kedarnath

Residents of dozens of rain-affected villages across Uttarakhand are starving and ill. Villages such as Pilang in Uttarkashi, Lambgodi in the Kedar Valley and those in the Yamuna Valley in Garhwal division are among the worst affected.

Famished residents of Munsyari, Sosa, Sirkha, Gungi and several other villages in the Kumaon division have urged President Pranab Mukherjee to order the Army to provide them immediate assistance in the form of food, tents for shelter and clothes as many of them have lost everything in the rain fury. “Army help is required urgently as we do not have much faith in the civil administration,” said Rajender Chufal, adding that any delay in assistance would only help Maoists trying to consolidate their position in the region.

Amidst fluctuating weather conditions, 2,365 people were rescued by air from Badrinath, Gangotri, Harsil and Pithoragarh and 500 on foot from Gangotri. About 2400 pilgrims were still stranded at Badrinath. About 1,02,600 stranded people had been rescued till date and about 3,000 persons are reported missing, Vinod Sharma, State director-general for information, said.

A forensic team led by Nilesh Anand Bharne, Superintendent of Police for the Kedarnath area, cremated 15 bodies in the temple town. Eighteen out of the 20 bodies recovered in Haridwar had been cremated. Out of these, four bodies had been identified. Three bodies were cremated in Rishikesh, five in Pauri and two in Tehri, the police said. Doctors have warned of an outbreak of plague in Kedarnath.

It would two months to assess the real damage as the administration has lost contact with hundreds of villages that could be accessed only on foot even during normal times.

People are apprehensive as the relief money granted for earlier disasters itself has not reached many even after two years. Similarly, many interior roads and water supply schemes identified as damaged over a year ago are yet to be repaired.

The residents of the Yamuna Valley doing commercial horticulture have suffered major losses as most of their fields had been washed away, said Mukesh Dhiman of Barkot.

Meanwhile, the President spoke to Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna on the phone and enquired about the status of rescue and relief operations.

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