Fresh spells of rain in parts of Uttarakhand today damaged several houses in Chamoli district and hampered relief operations prompting authorities to engage an IAF transport aircraft for the mammoth exercise.
About eight houses in Urgam Valley of Chamoli district were damaged due to heavy rains forcing the occupants to vacate them and move to safer places,Chamoli’s District Magistrate S A Murugesan said.
People living in those houses are unharmed as they have moved to safer places apprehending damage to the structures,he said. IAF’s C-130 Hercules aircraft,commissioned after choppers engaged in the operations earlier failed to fly relief material to affected areas due to inclement weather,has also not been able to serve its purpose so far.
The plane returned from a sortie this morning without dropping relief packages in affected areas due to overcast skies and low visibility conditions,NDMA member in charge of relief operations in the hill state,V K Duggal,told PTI. The aircraft is supposed to airdrop relief material in worst-hit Uttarkashi,Chamoli,Pithoragarh and Rudraprayag districts,including Kedarnath. The process of cremating bodies is being carried out in Kedarnath area amid bad weather by a team of over 70 experts and trained personnel even as they are said to be facing food shortage.
The plane is expected to undertake another sortie later today to take relief material to the affected areas,Duggal said.The aircraft was loaded with food,medicines and other items last night for Kedarnath and the other flood-hit regions,but so far it has not been able to drop the packages,he said.
Relief operations are badly affected in all the districts with no chopper operations being carried out so far since morning. With the network of major roads and highways still damaged,transportation of foodstuff by road to far-flung areas has taken a hit. Chamoli DM Murugesan said choppers could not take off due to bad weather and with roads still breached,relief cannot be reached to the needy people either way causing concern among the authorities.
Water level in Bhagirathi river in Uttarkashi has been constantly on the rise with villages of Tiloth and Joshiyara facing the danger of being inundated. People living in houses located along the banks of the river have been asked to move to safer places,officials here said.