Himachal disaster area is death trap, says survivor

Rampur (Himachal Pradesh), June 20 (IANS) \"It\'s now a death trap.\" So said a Doordarshan journalist rescued Thursday after having been stranded for four days in a landslide-hit part of Himachal Pradesh.

Published: 20th June 2013 04:34 PM  |   Last Updated: 20th June 2013 04:34 PM   |  A+A-

By IANS

"It's now a death trap." So said a Doordarshan journalist rescued Thursday after having been stranded for four days in a landslide-hit part of Himachal Pradesh.

"There is no water and electricity. The entire communication has been snapped since Sunday," Doordarshan's news editor Nandini Mital told IANS here after arriving from Pooh, 320 km from here, by an IAF chopper.

Mital was rescued by the Indian Air Force along with two colleagues and a few tourists. Rampur is the base camp for rescue operation.

She complained that no relief and rescue team from the state government or the National Disaster Management Authority had reached Pooh.

"This was the first fight to Pooh in four days. Every morning we were told to reach the helipad. Every day we were told to come the next dayh," she said.

Like her, 50-odd tourists mainly from Punjab and Chandigarh were stuck there.

Mital said: "There was no government functionary to assist the stranded people. The locals were benevolent. They provided food and shelter to us. There was no air dropping of essential items. The ration with the locals will last only five or six days."

Mital's team was on an official assignment when they were caught in torrential rains near Khab, the cold desert close to the China border.

According to her, the national highway 22 which passes through Pooh was severally damaged at several locations due to landslips and rains.

She said she and the others were told to reach Pooh from Khab to board the helicopter.

"After leaving behind our vehicle, we reached Pooh on foot by covering over 15 km. In Pooh there was no government official to guide us. Finally, we took the help of an army unit," she said.

She said the entire stretch of the highway between Khab and Pooh had been wiped out.

"Even the entire standing crops of peas and wheat has been damaged due to untimely snow.

"The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) officials told us that it would take a month and a half to restore normal traffic on the Hindustan-Tibet Road," Mital said.

Official sources said three helicopters were deployed Thursday after the heavy rainfall stopped to evacuate tourists stranded across Kinnaur.

Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, also stranded in Sangla for over 60 hours, was airlifted Tuesday.

Legislator Jagat Singh Negi said the maximum damage to property - both government and private - in the district was reported from Pooh block due to snow.

He said in certain areas most roads and bridges have been wiped out.

"The government has released Rs.3.5 crore as calamity relief fund," he added.

Officials said 14 people have been killed, including five members of a family, in landslide and rain-related incidents in the district since Sunday.

Stay up to date on all the latest Nation news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp