Residents of a remote village in Uttarakhand's Pithoragarh district have been forced to survive only on home-grown potatoes and rice for the last two months after a crucial connecting road got damaged in heavy showers, hitting the supply of essentials.
The locals of Golpha village are mulling an agitation demanding restoration of the 10-km stretch between Golpha and Madkot, from where they received essential supplies earlier.
Located in the newly-constituted Bangapani sub-division near the Indo-China border, Golpha has not received PDS supplies since July when the route got damaged in heavy showers.
"We are being compelled to start an agitation and sit on Dharna at the sub-divisional headquarters, as our children have not tasted roti and salt since two months. We are surviving only on homegrown potatoes and rice as no supply of essentials like wheat, salt or onion, are reaching the village due to the road blockage," Digar Singh Pharswan, a villager said.
Meanwhile, Pithoragarh District Magistrate C Ravishankar said supply department officers have not informed the administration about the dire food situation in the area.
"I have ordered an inquiry against the officers concerned and also instructed the PWD to complete damaged portion of the route in one week's time," the DM said.
According to the locals, at least five families have left the village due to non-availability of ration for the last two months and the thin possibility of the route being repaired in the near future.
The Food Grain Inspector (FGI) at Madkot, who is responsible for supplying ration to high-altitude villages in this part of Munsiyari, acknowledged that ration was not dispatched to the village after July this year.
"No ration dealer from Golpha has come to lift PDS ration after July this year as it cannot be carried beyond Danibagar bridge due to blockage of the route to the village. Even mules cannot take ration to the village," FGI Madkot Jagdish Singh Rathod said.
However, he said, the godowns at Madkot have enough ration to be supplied to the high altitude villages under the PDS system.
"The onus for repairing the road and bridges on the 10-km stretch rests on the district administration and the PWD. As far as we are concerned we have enough stock in our godowns in Madkot to cater to the needs of the people residing in high altitude villages," District Supply Officer Manoj Kumar Burman said.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)