It was like Shiva dancing in rage: Shobha Karandlaje
Former Karnataka Minister Shobha Karandlaje, who returned here after remaining stranded for four days at Rudraprayag in flood-ravaged Uttarakhand, today said it was a harrowing experience as her group of 1,000 pilgrims had to spend sleepless nights sandwiched between high mountains and flooded Ganga river.
"The disaster in Uttarakhand reminded me of Hollywood film '2012', which I saw some years ago. I also felt that Lord Shiva was dancing in rage, probably angered due to degradation of ecology taking place in Rudraprayag area," she said narrating her harrowing experience to reporters here.
'2012' is an American science fiction film based on disaster story.
"We were around thousand people in our group," Karandlaje, who was a member in the previous BJP ministry and later joined former Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa's KJP, said.
The landslide started on June 15 when she was returning from Gangotri. "I was lucky that my car reached a safe place. Three people, who were in a vehicle behind us, died after the vehicle fell into a ditch."
"We were sandwiched between high mountains and flooded Ganga river downwards. On top of the hill landslides were taking place. For one night I could not even get out of my car," she added.
She said after travelling a while she was stranded in her car at Kandiakhand and had to reach Budla by climbing a hill. "We were stranded at Budla for four days," she said.
Karandlaje said the pilgrims in her group were from West Bengal, Maharashtra and Rajasthan and majority were old women and children. They had minimal food supply and children fell sick and there was no doctor to attend to them. "We could not sleep either due to the rising river water or the possibility of more landslides," she said.
She said the locals helped her group to fetch water from far off places on their bikes as going closer to the river was dangerous.
Karandlaje said to get to the safer place they walked some distance and rode some distance as a pillion on bikes, adding, local people were "extremely helpful".
In Gangotri, she met some pilgrims from Karnataka but many who were stranded in Kedarnath and other places were in touch with her on her mobile, Karandlaje said.
"At Rishikesh, I also saw thousands of bikes, cars and gas cylinders getting washed away at Gangotri-Alakananda Sangam...The military is doing a good job in rescuing people and taking them to safety."†