Two weeks after the Uttarakhand disaster, as the Uttarakhand government has finally started focusing on providing ration to the cut off villages, the absence of legislators in the area appears to have cast a shadow on the operations.
“People in at least 30 villages in Rudraprayag and Chamoli districts are completely cut off. They are facing starvation,” said Laxman Singh Negi, an activist from Garhwal’s Urgam valley.
“Hundreds of quintals of relief material are pouring in from all sides, but it is rotting. Trucks full of relief material had returned as there were no legislators to guide them,” he added.
The Congress legislators do not seem to have time for the people of their constituencies. Most are at the state capital, blaming chief minister Vijay Bahuguna for relief operation before the media.
While most of them belong to the faction led by Union water resources’ minister Harish Rawat, who had opposed Bahuguna’s elevation, a senior party leader admitted it was also a way to avoid monitoring relief work.
The opposition appears equally disinterested. And in the absence of leaders, the officials were taking it easy, the locals allege.
A 6-member team of United Nations, meanwhile, toured Augustmuni in Rudraprayag on Thursday to take stock of the loss. According to the government, more than 5 lakh locals have been hit and more than 4,200 villages cut off.
The authorities said 152 villages are yet to receive government help.
Pegging the number of missing pilgrims at more than 3000, Bahuguna said if they don’t surface till July 15, they would be presumed dead.