Mangan quake victims not satisfied with rescue operations

Sikkim Mail

Mangan/Gangtok: September 20

Many news vans have reached Gangtok to cover the aftermath of the Sunday evening disaster and the national media is also covering the after quake happenings in Sikkim with much alacrity. The Central and the State Government are trying to mitigate the problem as best as possible and the rescue measures and the operations that are shown in the media look impressive.But all that is told by national media may not be enough to feel satisfied.

It has been informed that 5,500 army have been deployed for rescue operations and that some have been air dropped at Mangan and Chungthang but even one fourth of the total rescue team have not actually reached Chungthan. The people who are actually going through the tragedy are not happy with the rescue measures that are in operation in the most badly hit – Mangan and Chungthang. A local resident of Mangan K T Bhutia (name changed) informed that till Wednesday there was no sign of the State administration or the Army rescue workers in the site of the catastrophe.

In the morning of Tuesday an Army rescue team reached Mangan but according to locals they were not of much help to the locals to carry out the huge task that lies before them. The rescue team was camping in the Community Hall and only after much pressure from the furious locals who even resorted to threatening, finally the team came out to help them. However the locals were still not happy with their ‘half hearted’ effort. More than the army it seems the local people are trying to help each other and the students of Mangan Senior Secondary School are also lending their hands.

The Army helicopters are also busy evacuating the army victims from the area and as Mangan and the surrounding areas of North Sikkim is totally cut off by road the people are unable to reach the injured to Gangtok for treatment. One of the local resident even said that the army helicopters are not helping in evacuating the civilian victims from the area. Two helicopters has been deployed by Teesta Urja, a hydel power project in North Sikkim but that is being used by their staff only for evacuation. Although the food supply has been air dropped at Naga it has not reached to the affected areas of North District.

Power supply in the area was restored only after 5 PM on Tuesday and only BSNL network is working.

Hence from all angles it seems the locals are still living under terror. The quake has passed but tit has left most of the buildings in the area uninhabitable. People are living outside in make shift tents and the supply of food and essential commodities are also very less. Areas like Saffo and Shipgel are had been also badly hit and no rescue measures have reached those areas so far.
The District Hospital Mangan has also been badly damaged by the earth quake and there is no alternative power supply. In times of emergency the hospital is very badly equipped to handle the situation.



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