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Stranded Uttarakhand flood victims angry at lack of supplies

Dehradun, Reuters | Updated : 22 June 2013, 10:04 AM

Hundreds of flood victims in India's northern province of Uttarakhand were stranded on Friday (June 21) at Joshimath relief camp, set up in the vicinity of the temple town of Joshimath.

Some of the flood victims had been stranded at the camp for the last eight days.

Sanjeeb Singh was angry at the government's seeming lack of concern for those in the relief camps.

"We denounce the Uttarakhand government en masse for its lackadaisical attitude towards those stuck in Badrinath as they have totally centred their focus on Kedarnath. From last eight days, the people are stuck here, standing in queues and there is no facility for water or food, also there is no any facility for even taking these people out from this place," Sanjeeb Singh said.

Around 60,000 people are believed to be stranded in various parts of Uttarakhand waiting for rescue teams to reach their camps.

Another victim at the Joshimath camp, Janaki Devi, who lost her son during the floods mourned her loss.
"How should I go back without my children? I am not feeling well. What should I do? Please send me; please send back my children somehow," Janaki Devi said.

One pilgrim Sriram Jha recalled his journey to reach the relief camp, he said many were trapped in debris.

"Yes, and still there are many people who are stuck and they are not able to come out of the debris. You know the mountain route that we took to come out still has some 200 to 300 dead bodies lying there. And then there were so many people who just fell off from the hilltops and the gradients into the river," said Sriram Jha.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announced a 10-billion-rupee aid package for the state after he and ruling Congress Party president Sonia Gandhi did an aerial survey of the flood-hit region.

This year's monsoon has drenched the country in record time, almost a month ahead of schedule. Heavy rains in north India have swollen the Ganges, India's longest river, and floods have swept away houses, killing more than 80 people and leaving tens of thousands stranded.

India's monsoon rains are expected to ease in the next week and forecasters see normal rainfall in July and August.

First Published: Saturday, June 22, 2013 09:19 AM
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