Departments yet to discover Lava’s devastation

 Kalimpong/Lava: July 3, 2015:

The family of 4 in Kolakham, Lava is still untraceable as the place has been flooded with the last torrential rain. The untraced includes, Bhagi Maya Rai (75) her two sons Harkaman Rai (50) Taraman Rai (45) and her grandson Javious Rai. (5 years) The family of farmers has been missing since the incessant rain of 1st July, informed Madhu Rai, a relative. It was informed that no department has reached for the rescue operation in Lava and the villagers could not be of any assistance as the entire site was flooded. Madhu also mentioned that the Army of 17th mile reached the spot to trace the missing ones in the marshy area but they no one could be traced. ‘The Army’s had come yesterday they searched for a while but could not proceed their operation because of the rain’ said Madhu. The NDRF force were deployed only in Tingling and places like Kolakham (Lava) and Nursery gaon (8th mile) have been abandoned, feels the dwellers here. One Sunny Singh from Lava also spoke to this correspondent regarding the negligence of the department, he said that no department has come forward with the relief, (till he spoke to this correspondent) ‘it’s the local people and the monks of Lava monastery who looked after the first aid of the disaster victims’ said Singh. He later added that the Army and the GREF has now cleared the road of Lava that connects Algarah and Siliguri but the road that leads to Kolakham from Lava was blocked till the time this report was written, the people who spoke to this Journalist also said that they (Army and GREF) might take another few hours to clear the road. The electricity is also disconnected since 1st July in Lava and the maintenance will take time as the conditions of the poles are pathetic, said the source. However the GTA Chief visited the affected areas of Lava (including the monastery) and Samabiyong (the tea estate where a woman named Alisha Rai died) by afternoon. A person who didn’t want to be named said, ‘Now that Bimal Gurung is here, people from other departments will automatically come with relief’ Meanwhile, D. Nag, the Block Development Officer-Algarah Block speaking to the reporters said 113 houses are fully damaged in block-2 and the army might encamp the affected areas for rescue operations, ‘The NDRF team might also reach Lava by today, (will reach Kpg by 6:30-7:00 pm) however I have also met the relief chief and had a word about our situation’ said Nag. Another reliable source said that the NDRF force will first start their operation in 8th Mile. It was also known that ‘block-II relief committee’ was formed to provide help to the people, in the mean time BDO added that the ration dealers have been made aware about the general rations that are to be provided to the disaster victims.

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