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Uttarakhand government starts providing essential items to areas near China border

On October 11, responding to a PIL, the Uttarakhand HC directed the state government to provide necessary rations and other essential items within 24 hours to villages near the China border through helicopter and maintain regular supplies through the same till the winter season is over. These villages have been cut off from the rest of the state as the BRO is constructing a road in the area.

dehradun Updated: Oct 15, 2018 15:49 IST
Neeraj Santoshi
Neeraj Santoshi
Hindustan Times, Nainital
The Uttarakhand High Court  had directed the state government to provide essential items to people in nearly a dozen villages near China border in Pithoragarh district which at present are inaccessible through road.
The Uttarakhand High Court had directed the state government to provide essential items to people in nearly a dozen villages near China border in Pithoragarh district which at present are inaccessible through road. (HT File Photo )
         

Two days after the Uttarakhand high court directed the state government to provide necessary rations and other essential items within 24 hours through helicopter to 9,000 people in nearly a dozen villages near China border in Pithoragarh district which at present lacks road access, the state government on Sunday started providing the supplies through a helicopter.

The helicopter that flew from Dharchula helipad undertook many sorties to the remote area to provide 27 quintals of ration and essential items, said Manoj Kumar Burman, the district supplies officer (DSO).

Burman said it is for the first time that a chopper has been used for providing essential supplies in the remote area close to the China border.

“The old natural paths used by villagers had been cut as the Border Road Organisation is constructing a road in the area. Due to this, the people in the area were facing problems for some time,” he said. Burman said the helicopter will take more sorties to the villages within a few days.

“After we got the HC order on the evening of October 11, we had bought the necessary supplies. But getting a helicopter for making the sorties took some time,” he said.

On October 11, responding to a PIL filed by Mahendra Singh Budiyal from Pithoragarh, the HC directed the government to provide necessary rations and other essential items within 24 hours through helicopter and maintain regular supplies through the same till the winter season is over.

The HC said the necessary rations include flour, ghee, rice, cereals, pulses including fresh vegetables, spices, kerosene oil, matchboxes, condensed milk, tea, toiletries.

The PIL had highlighted that due to lack of communication and suspension of helicopter service, people in nearly a dozen villages did not have necessary and essential food items and other necessities.

The villages included Lamari, Bundi, Chaiya Lekh, Garbiyang, Napalchu, Gunji Nabi, Rongkong, Kuti, Kalapani, Nabhi Dhang of Pithoragarh.

Naresh Pant, counsel for the petitioner, said the court has listed the case in two weeks.

“My petitioner has told me that a contempt petition be filed as the authorities delayed the supplies and took Rs 3100 from each one of 36 persons whom they brought to Dharchula today. Only 35 quintals was ferried to the villages while 150 quintals of essential items is still lying at the Dharchula helipad,” he said.

Pant said the villages remain without a road access as the 5 km patch of the Ghatiyabagarh-Lepolekh Road has not been completed. He said the construction of this road remains incomplete even after nearly 19 years.

“Of this nearly 70 km road that had to be constructed, the road was constructed from China border upto Bundi and then from Dharchula side to towards the Bundi,” he said.