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Friday, September 17, 2021

Himachal Pradesh: 40 survive 2 hungry days in Lahaul-Spiti cave | Shimla News


MANALI: Stuck in a cave since the Tuesday evening cloudburst in Himachal Pradesh’s Lahaul-Spiti district, 40 villagers from Changut in the remote Miyar valley hills went two days without food and water.
Their three houses, standing crop, and most of the agricultural land washed away, the villagers now look to relocate and rehabilitate.
The hamlet has just 14 houses, reachable after a 15-kilometre drive from Udaipur and another 10km of trek. On top of that, road links to the region were broken and telephone lines were dead, so the authorities remained unaware of the cloudburst. The terrified villagers ran for life, crossed a flooded nullah, and took refuge in a small cave below the rocky mountain. They could not bring meals, water, or warm clothes.
The water level in the nullah was so high that it took two days to recede, while the group, including women, senior citizens, and children, had no escape. A village woman said: “Five days have passed but nobody came to know our fate and provide us with relief. We are cold, hungry, drenched, and underclad. Our houses, source of living, farmland, crops, all are gone. The village is no more safe. We want the government to move us to a secure place.”
The villagers blamed delayed response but the officials had no idea about the damage in the Miyar valley.
The flood could have killed all of the villagers. Resident Neeraj said: “Only a patwari reached out to us to assess the damage, after a few days. What can he do? They should have sent at least an SDM. Only a small chunk of land is left and we can’t reach that without a path or a bridge. We must start afresh.”
The supply of electricity to Changut was restored but there cannot be any cultivation for some time. Now when they have lost most of their land, nobody wants to stay back.
They have no other land, so they look to the government for help. Cabinet minister Ram Lal Markanda was to visit Miyar on Sunday.





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