Tribune News Service
Mussoorie, May 6
A cloudburst wreaked havoc in Khuret and Pujaldi villages near Chamba in Tehri Garhwal district around 11 pm on Thursday. It damaged several fields, standing crops, drinking water pipelines, roads, water mills and irrigation canals.
The affected villagers said the rivulet rose to alarming levels as soon as the cloud burst, washing away several fields in the process.
However, no loss of life was reported as the village households are scattered and the cloud burst near dense forest and fields. The level of the Hewal River, that provides drinking water to Chamba, had risen alarmingly and was causing hindrance in crossing over to the town.
The farmers were the worst sufferers as they incurred immense loss in form of damaged crops, namely potatoes, beans and standing crop of wheat.
Surya Prakash, Jagdish Prasad, Poonam Devi and Pramila Devi said water from the river had entered their homes and they had to spend the night at their neighbours’ houses.
Girisha Lekhwar, who lost her water mill, said it was her only hope for livelihood and had been swept away in the cloudburst.
Former pradhan Rakesh Lekhwar said the livelihood of most of the villagers had been lost due to the cloudburst. He demanded adequate compensation to those affected from the administration.
Tehri District Magistrate Jyoti Neeraj Khairwal said she had rushed the Tehri SDM and other officials to the spot to assess the damage and had asked them to make a detailed report. The damage to area was a lot but thankfully no casualties had reported so far. NGOs which were keen to help out the villagers in this hour of need were welcome but they should contact her first so that they could be led to the site by the SDM, Jyoti added.
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