'Had it not been for the army, I'm not sure if I would be alive to write this'
Had the army camp not been here at a height of 9,000 feet, I am not sure whether I would have been there to write about the worst nightmare of my life. Prasad Nichenametla reports.india Updated: Jun 21, 2013 09:17 IST
Had the army camp not been here at a height of 9,000 feet, I am not sure whether I would have been there to write about the worst nightmare of my life.
Along with my colleague, Asit, I am among the 2,000 odd people stranded at this camp for the last six days at the Harsil army camp, about 70 km from the Uttarkashi town. Those waiting patiently here include 15 tourists from the US, UK, Israel and Italy.
The sight of Indian Air Force choppers have provided a ray of hope since Wednesday and so have a couple of private choppers from wealthy families of Maharashtra, but it appears to be too little at the moment.
The choppers have managed at least five sorties so far and around 60 old and sick people have been evacuated. Given the near complete destruction of roads and going by the estimate of army officers, it will not be anytime soon that the roads can be reconstructed.
The only good news is that no casualties have been reported so far in this region.
We are provided rice and dal by the courteous army personnel thrice a day, but they admit the stock is depleting fast.
There is no trace of the state government and we are yet to meet any official from the Uttarakhand administration since the unprecedented rain struck on Saturday.
In the absence of any mode of transportation, some youngsters planned to walk up to Uttarkashi town, but gave up the idea on the advice of army friends.
Some others from Gangotri, which is about 20km from the camp, have reached here to join us. They will be able to sleep in the army barracks or a local school, wherever they find space, like us.
First Published: Jun 21, 2013 00:15 IST