Pithoragarh, July 4

The18-day rescue and relief operation has ended in the district.

About 910 stranded villagers and people from other states were rescued and 332 quintals of relief packets dropped in 20 affected helmets in the Darma and Johar valleys of Pithoragarh district during this period, Kumaon Commissioner RK Shudhanshu said here today.
Shudhanshu told mediapersons that about 100 persons were still stranded in the Darma and Johar valleys.
“Most of the villagers are busy in farming in higher valleys as this is the season for sowing local crops of potato, palthi and phaphar, besides medicinal herbs. We are rescuing only those people who are either outsiders or locals who have settled outside these valleys and gone there to worship their deities,” said the Commissioner.
He added that to ensure that only genuine people were evacuated through helicopters from these valleys the administration had decided to drop a senior officer in the villages to identify persons who were to be lifted.
“Genuinely, over 100 persons are required to be lifted and rescued in a day if weather gets clear for helicopter sorties,” said Sudhanshu.
The Commissioner said the administration had allowed an outside organisation to distribute relief material among the stranded people. 

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