Dehradun: Each time the sound of a flying chopper, carrying relief material, is heard in the ravaged land of Uttarakhand, people waiting in flocks rush towards it in hope of some succour but they return empty handed as the stuff is airdropped at places rendered inaccessible by breached roads.
People in scores of villages on hills are faced with the same situation, as in spite of sighting the foodstuff dropped from the choppers they cannot collect it with the access roads still blocked or cut off.
Contrary to government claims of hundreds of metric tonnes of essentials airdropped in rain hit areas, relief material is yet to reach villages cut off from the roads with major highways still badly damaged in the worst hit Rudraprayag, Chamoli and Uttarkashi districts.
In Kheeron village near Joshimath on Badrinath highway in Chamoli district people have taken refuge in the caves to escape the fury of the swirling waters of Alaknanda. The situation in over 40 villages of Uttarkashi is no different.
Padamsingh Chauhan, a resident of the Kheeron, says over two weeks after the tragedy when the choppers began doing sorties in the area their hopes were kindled.
Though foodstuff and other relief material like kerosene were airdropped by the helicopters, they fell over a huge rock that stands at a place where they cannot go in the absence of a road.
The only relief in this state of deprivation is some of the fields where the crop of potatoes still stands.
"We are eating fried potatoes from the fields to sustain ourselves," Madho Singh, another resident of the village says.
Pandukeshwar and Lambagar gram sabhas in Chamoli district besides Urgam valley are still totally cut off, and all the connecting roads in Pindar valley are damaged since June 16 when flash floods and cloudbursts struck Uttarakhand, flattening homes, sweeping away villages and claiming hundreds of lives.