Uttarkashi: The villagers of Assi Ganga valley, one of the areas in Uttarkashi district which was badly affected by the 2013 Kedarnath disaster, are waiting for reconstruction and relief work for the past four years. Local residents alleged that most of the major roads, bridges, schools and medical centres of the region have not been totally restored and continue to be in bad shape. The valley, which is situated barely 5 km away from the district headquarters, was devastated by the floods in 2012 as well.
Residents of villages such as Gajoli, Seku, Naugaun, Bhankoli, Agora, Uttaron and a few others said that “it was a pity that the region – which has a lot of adventure tourism potential, was being neglected like this.”
“The government never focused on constructing the damaged roads, bridges and government buildings here. It is the entry point to the famous Dodital lake but little has been done to enhance tourism potential. The few constructions that were done over the years are of little use for us,” said Kamleshwar Prasad Khanduri, a resident of Gajoli village.
A major 20-km road connecting Sangamchatti and Gajoli region to the Rishikesh-Gangotri National Highway is still under construction for the past four years. One of the bridges connecting Uttaron village, that was rebuilt by government agencies, has technical faults. A health facility and another cooperative centre are still non-functional since they were reconstructed two years ago. Many of the smaller bridges, including the one connecting Agora to Dodital trek, are still broken. Villagers, including children, are forced to cross rivers and rivulets using wooden logs.
The scenario in government schools is no good either. Several of these lack basic infrastructure and records little attendance. The situation during monsoon gets worse as classrooms getting inundated with rain water.
“As many as 9,000 villagers of the valley have been living in pitiable situation due to negligence of the state government. We have protested several times and pleaded before senior officials but little has been done,” said Dinesh Singh, a resident of Naugaun village.
Meanwhile, sub-divisional magistrate of Bhatwari, Devendra Singh Negi, said, “The administration has ordered all construction agencies to speed up work in the villages and surrounding areas. Our main priority is to finish the pending projects first. Other issues will be resolved subsequently.”