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Chal Village Stranded as Trolley Washed Away in Dhauli River, Puts Lives at Risk

Date: July 7, 2023

PITHORAGARH: Over 100 residents of Chal village in the picturesque Darma Valley of Uttarakhand's Pithoragarh district find themselves cut off from neighboring areas following the washing away of a crucial trolley due to heavy rainfall. The incident occurred late on Thursday evening when the trolley, which connected the village to the outside world, was swept away in the torrential waters of the Dhauli river. While there have been no reports of casualties or damage to property, the villagers now face a perilous situation.

Dhauli River

The village, nestled in the heart of the Darma Valley, relied heavily on the trolley system that spanned the Dhauli river. Prior to the installation of the trolley, an iron bridge had facilitated the transportation needs of the community. However, that bridge was washed away during the devastating natural disaster that struck the region in 2013. In the aftermath, the local administration took the initiative to set up the trolley as an alternative means of crossing the river.

According to Dinesh Chalal, a resident of Chal village, more than 25 individuals from the community are expected to return soon after collecting Yarsa Gombu, a valuable herb found in the high Himalayan region. These villagers now face significant risks if they attempt to cross the swollen river without the trolley. Chalal emphasized the urgent need for the trolley's reinstallation, as without it, villagers would be compelled to embark on a treacherous 20-kilometer journey upstream to reach the nearby Dharchula market via an alternate bridge over the Dhauli river.

Responding to the pressing situation, Pithoragarh District Magistrate, Reena Joshi, assured the stranded villagers that the authorities were taking immediate action. Administrative sources revealed that the relevant agency had been directed to reinstate the trolley within the next two days, ensuring the safe passage of the inhabitants of Chal village.

The loss of the trolley connection has severely impacted the lives of the villagers, causing disruption to their daily routines and access to essential services. The cut-off village highlights the vulnerability of remote regions during times of natural calamities, such as heavy rains and flooding. It calls for greater attention from the authorities to prioritize the development of infrastructure and disaster management strategies in these areas.

The Darma Valley is known for its breathtaking natural beauty and holds immense potential for tourism. However, incidents like the recent washing away of the trolley pose significant challenges in realizing this potential. It is crucial for the government and concerned agencies to address these issues promptly, ensuring the safety and well-being of the local communities, while also considering the long-term development prospects for the region.

As the authorities work towards reestablishing the trolley, the residents of Chal village remain hopeful for a swift resolution to their plight. The reinstatement of this vital lifeline would not only reconnect the villagers with the outside world but also provide a sense of security, allowing them to resume their lives without the constant fear of isolation during adverse weather conditions.

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