A group of nine Panchkula residents trekked for eight hours through treacherous path in rain-ravaged Kinnaur district to reach Karcham from Sangla valley on Sunday. This will be the ninth night, which these people will have to spend in Kinnaur.
"We have become refuges in our own country," said Makesh Juneja, joint director, Punjab Mandi Board, and a resident of sector 15 in Panchkula.
"For eight days we were stranded in Sangla valley, but the administration turned a deaf ear towards us. They favoured foreign nationals over us. Today, I am ashamed of being Indian," he said.
"Today, we were fooled by a local tehsildar for moving towards Karcham on foot. About 100 people left, but it was a ploy so that only a few could be airlifted. We continued walking for about eight hours without a guide. We lost our way as well. It is such a dangerous terrain, if you slip, you will go down several hundred feet," he complained.
The lucky 10
Ten Panchkula residents finally reached Rampur from Reckong Peo via helicopter on Sunday.
Talking to HT on phone, Arunesh Gupta said, "It was a miracle. We were finally airlifted after so many days. We are coming back from Rampur via taxi and would reach Panchkula tonight. I will never go back to Kinnaur. "
"We could ply only one helicopter on Sunday. We have rescued about 153 people. There is no favouritism. From Karcham we have connected Shimla and buses are plying," Kinnaur DC Captain JM Pathania said.