‘A police inspector was playing carrom,

The survivors of the floods in Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand now return back to the comfort of their homes

Written by Express News Service | Chandigarh | Published: June 22, 2013 2:04:27 am

The survivors of the floods in Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand now return back to the comfort of their homes,recount their horrors and the distress their families had to undergo while waiting for them.

Mohit Sharma,Sector 19

Mohit Sharma,a resident of Sector 19 in Chandigarh,spoke to Newsline of the long hours of waiting he had to bear,without much hope of relief.

“On June 14 we reached Narkanda in Himachal Pradesh. The next day we reached Sangla and it started raining heavily. We heard that there was a major cloud burst at Tapri. The roads were washed off and we were left with no other option but to wait for some help.”

“They were the worst days of my life. There was no electricity,no food or clean water to drink. People were falling sick,one pregnant woman was crying with pain but there was no government authority to help us.”

Finally the wait ended and on June 20 as four choppers came and airlifted them to Rampur. From there they took a taxi to Shimla and then to Chandigarh.

Vikrant Nanda Sector 15

Vikrant Nanda,who was also stranded at Kinnaur,said,“All the hotels ran out of the water and there was no electricity. Amid all this when the state machinery was not able to provide any support to the people it was the initiative taken by State Bank of India that provided some relief to the people. They distributed bottled water and Maaza. It was a great help because we were without water for the whole day.”

K D Pathak and Kamala Pathak Sector 20 Panchkula

K D Pathak,a retired chief manager of PNB,said,“I feel that it was because we kept ourselves engaged with bhajans and yoga that our mind did not drift towards negativity. We never gave up hope and did not allow despair to set in.”

On June 7 K D Pathak and his wife Kamala Pathak left for Haridwar with a group of 30 people including three children. “Till June 13 it was a perfectly normal journey. The next day when we tried to move towards Badrinath,we were told to go back,” he said.

“We also tried to go to Khakra which has a helipad,but when we reached there we got to know that the helicopter was being used only to ferry bodies and injured and sick people,. We tried all other alternatives we could think of but nothing worked,” says K D Pathak. The couple faced many difficulties on the way before they were able to move towards Chandigarh.

Tej Ram Garg and Krishna Goyal Sector 21 Panchkula

Tej Ram Garg and his wife were stranded at Karnaprayag. He said,“For the first two days there was no help from any quarter but as the news of people like us being stuck spread,the local administration sent an information van which told us to take shelter at various places. We were told to stay at a college in Karnaprayag where we were stuck. Fortunately we chose to remain in the bus as we saw the college being washed away in front of us.”

Krishna Goyal said that hotels were taking advantage of the situation and selling a thali for Rs 300 to Rs 400. All other food items too were being sold at inflated prices.

Avtar Singh,a resident of Kharar

The religious trip to Hemkunt Sahib turned out to be a nightmare for 30-year-old Avtar Singh,who remained crushed under the stones for more than six hours.

Avtar Singh,a driver,took six pilgrims for Hemkunt Sahib on June 16. “Our car got stuck in the traffic jam near Devprayag. While we were waiting,heavy stones fell on my vehicle. I got crushed under the heavy stone and remained motionless for more than six hours.”

Remembering the incident,he said,“It was a horrific experience,as I was seeing people dying in front of my eyes. While I was crushed under the stone,another stone fell on a man and he died on the spot.”

Avtar Singh complained that nobody from government came to help the people who were stuck there. “Finally I called my friends in Chandigarh and they came all the way to Devprayag and saved me,” he added.

Vijay Kumar,his friend said,“He was in a very critical condition,we immediately took him to the near by dispensary,but they did not attended him properly. Then I went to Devprayag police station where to my utter shock I saw the Inspector playing carrom. He did not show any interest.”

They finally managed to bring him and others back safely. He was later admitted to the PGIMER,where doctors have said that has fractures on his arms and left leg.

Avtar’s troubles do not end here as he is now worried about his medical expenses.

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