People living in the villages of flood-ravaged Uttarakhand are now left with the daunting task of rebuilding their damaged houses and coping with depleting rations.
"We have supplies left for just three or four more days. The problem is that the village is completely cut off. There was a bridge which connected us with Guptkashi, but it was washed away. So have the roads and there is no proper route left. I had to walk for more than 22 km to reach Guptkashi," said Surendra Singh, the Gram Pradhan of Chaumasi village.
Chaumasi village, with a population of about 600, is above Kalimath, on one of the slopes overlooking the Mandakini in Rudrapur. Singh had come to Guptkashi along with other village pradhans to request the district administration for food supplies among other things.
The requirements included supply of tents and tarpaulin to arrange for shelter for the members of those household whose dwellings were damaged in the torrential rains. "We have 12 people missing from our village; all men, nine of them married. The rest were teenagers. All used to work in Kedarnath during the tourist season," Singh added.
Lack of electricity, proper drinking water and food supply are some of the major problems faced by people trying to rehabilitate themselves in the nearby villages. "We have been without electricity since June 15, when the first spell of heavy rains began. We are caught in a vicious circle of troubles. To get help we need to contact the administration, but that is not possible as without electricity no cellphones can be charged," Pradhan of Jalmalla village, Trilok Singh Rawat said.
"To get food, we need a supply line and roads which are functional. But all roads, including to foot trails are destroyed," Rawat added. "We have come here to request district officials to reach supplies to our village. We are out of food, oil and safe drinking water," he lamented.