Rescue delayed as officials caught napping

Rescue delayed as officials caught napping

Rescue delayed as officials caught napping

As the Uttarakhand administration stepped up relief and rescue operations to evacuate thousands of people trapped in one of the worst tragedies to have hit the country, the tales by the survivors, who managed to reach safer locations and even their homes, revealed official apathy.

Many of the survivors, arrived here after miraculously surviving the nature's fury in the hill state, alleged that the officials in Uttarakhand failed miserably to provide succor to the trapped people and were caught napping as rampaging rivers destroyed everything that came in their way.

In a shocking revelation, some survivors claimed that officials at Kedarnath were the first to flea when flash floods hit the Kedar valley, Gaurikund, Rambara and the surrounding areas soon as the rescue coppers arrived there to evacuate the people.

They alleged no prior warning had been issued about the floods, nor was there any disaster management plan in the event of such an emergency.

“We were left at the mercy of one came to help us...we somehow managed to catch an army vehicle after walking several kilometres and then hired a private taxi to reach Kathgodam via Ranikhet,” said Rakesh Mishra.

Rajendra Kumar, a resident of Lucknow, told his family members here that he had been trapped at a place near Rambara for the past six days. “We are still awaiting help'', he said adding that there were many others with him also.

A similar story was told by Ram Kumar of the state capital. Kumar, who managed to reach to a safer place, said that the arrangements made by the state government was simply inadequate. Many survivors said that a large number of people were trapped at Junglechatti, a few kilometres away from Kedarnath.