As the toll of Sunday’s flash floods in Uttarkashi rose to 28 and locals complained about the tardy relief work, the Centre promised all help to the state and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi took a personal interest in the matter.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh assured help to Uttarakhand chief minister Vijay Bahuguna, who met him on Tuesday. Gandhi wrote a letter to Bahuguna, asking that she be kept posted about the relief work.
The state government has pegged the losses at Rs 900 crore.
In Uttarkashi, though, the locals alleged that even five days after the calamity, the government was engaged in issuing statements and statistics instead of providing help. Little was done to ascertain the whereabouts of 30 missing people – the corresponding figure from the government was just five.
There has been no effort to search for bodies near Matli, Dunda, Dharasu, Chinyalisaur and Tehri dam, they alleged. The families of three policemen declared dead are searching for the bodies on their own.
“Remote places are neglected. None of the officials have reached Gangori bridge or the Rawada Uttaron bridge,” said Jaypal Singh, 47, of Joshiyara village.
“First they (the administration) said rescue work would begin in full swing from Monday and now they say Wednesday. How long do we wait?” asked Kuldeep Rawat, another resident.
Even at the 11 relief camps, things are barely under control. “There is a shortage of food,” said Sangeeta from Naugaon who is living at a relief camp.