After a horrifying journey through the flooded areas in Uttarakhand,five families from Vadodara returned home with their family members Friday morning. Deval Dave,her husband Anil and two children,Hitanshi and Aryan,were among those lucky families who made it back after being stranded for two days. The near-death experience has shaken Deval and Anil. They have vowed never return to Uttarakhand.
Deval said,When we first reached Uttarakhand,we were in awe of the natural beauty and could not get enough of it. But,at the end of the tour,we realised that it had its own curses.
Her husband,Anil,considers them among the lucky few who were trapped on blocked roads under heavy rains for almost 24 hours,but survived. Anil said,At one point after the darshan at Joshimath,we felt some stones falling on our bus. Our driver braked in the nick of time. A huge block of the mountain slid downwards in front of our bus,missing us by a whisker. We asked our driver to just take us down to a safe location.
The families came to Haridwar on June 18 from where they left by alternate roads to Vadodara.
Rajesh Rawal,an ONGC employee and his wife Surekha,46,were able to make it to Yamnotri,Gangotri and Kedarnath before the floods swept away the areas. Rajesh said,We did not know the magnitude of the destruction till we reached a hotel in a small town after a 24-hour wait in traffic jam. It was there that we saw the Alaknanda river in all its fury and houses coming down like a pack of cards.
Along with these families,tour escort Vijay Shah returned too,but with an injured leg. He recalled his bus had reached Govindkund from Kedarnath and was stranded for 15 hours as the four-kilometre stretch had been washed away. After spending a night at Sumerpur,the bus finally reached Garhwal where the roads were 12 feet under water. The storm reached Govindghat after our bus left. Had there been any delay,we would have been swept away too, he said.