DEHRADUN (TIP): At least 500 trucks carrying ration and foodrelated material meant for distribution among survivors in catastrophe-hit Rudraprayag, Chamoli, Uttarkashi and Pithoragarh districts are lying parked for the last four days in Rishikesh, Dehradun, Haridwar and Haldwani. The trouble is the administration is not clearing their onward journey for want clearances. Of these, 96 ration-loaded trucks were sent by senior Congress leaders on behalf of Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and its vice-president Rahul Gandhi.
These have been lying on both sides of the 230km Haridwar- Gangotri bypass obstructing traffic – all because the administration’s failure to ensure its distribution among survivors far-flung places. A senior Congress leader in Dehradun said these ration trucks were stuck because the administration has refused to accept the supplies for want of storage space. “Unless the administration allows these trucks to move, these will remain jammed and perishables items would rot,” said an official.
Dehradun additional district magistrate Harak Singh Rawat said as the government does not have any place to store the heavy quantity of ration, the question of issuing permits to the truck owners to proceed further does not arise. Members of different social and political organisations, including state BJP chief Tirath Singh, have accused Congress leaders of unnecessarily wasting food supplies like grains, biscuits, drinking water, and oil for the sake of scoring brownie points from floods victims.
Singh said Congress workers are not at all inclined to trek for miles to distribute food items to victims. State Congress chief Yashpal Arya said the government will issue permit to stranded truck owners to proceed further soon so as to distribute ration and food material among victims in affected areas. However, Garhwal commissioner Suvardhan said as the government already has more than enough stock of ration for distribution among those in need, the stranded trucks will have to wait for a two more days.
“We will definite issue permits to their owners to move further so that material is distributed among people who are genuinely affected,” said Suvardhan. All this while people in remote areas await precious supplies that could save lives.