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Deaths due to lack of timely medical relief due inaccessibility bane of remote hills  

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Deaths due to lack of timely medical relief due inaccessibility bane of remote hills


Pithoragarh, May 29

The tragic death of Jeet Singh Parihar, a 53 year old villager of Kanar village of Bangapani sub-division of Pithoragarh district, due to timely medical attention due to geographical inaccessibility in the border region has again brought to the fore the basic problems of health, education and accessibility faced by the local residents.

Jeet Singh died on Tuesday when he was being carried to a nearby road head at a distance of 16 km from his village on ‘Doli’ (palanquin) by village youths after he fell seriously ill in his village that is situated at a height of 8000 feet.

“After getting information from villagers about serious illness of Jeet Singh, we have asked for a helicopter from senior officers from Dehradun but helicopter could not be arranged. We had then planned to send a medical team to the village but the patient died before anything could be done,” said Reena Joshi, District Magistrate, Pithoragarh.

The villagers of Kanar village alleged that despite repeated demands, the 16 km long road to the village from Baram portion of Jauljibi- Munsiyari state Highway could not be started. ” Earlier, the official argument against the road was that the area falls in the  Askot wildlife sanctuary but for the past decade, the area has been taken out from the limits of the wildlife sanctuary but still the government has not paid any heed to our genuine demand,” said B.S. Parihar, a retired principal and resident of the village.

Due to lack of road connectivity, more than 1000 residents of Kanar village still carry their daily essentials on their back to their homes, ascending 16 km.

A patient being taken on a palanquin to the hospital in the hills.
File photo by vipin Gupta, Pithoragarh.

The villagers have said that when almost  all the villages of Darma valley and lower part of  Johar valley have been connected with roads, why the government has left some villages without road connectivity resulting into frequent deaths of patients or pregnant women due to failure to reach hospital on time.”After the most distant village of Namik, (24 km) has been connected with road recently, we are still dreaming of a road to our village,” said Parihar

Dharchula MLA, Harish Dhami has said that that road to Kanar is not being constructed due to non-clearance of forest land that falls in between.”I, had sanctioned a sum of Rs 3.5 crore to cut Baram to Kanar road during my days as  chairperson of Uttarakhand Forest Corporation but BJP government has returned that amount as the forest clearance was delayed,” claimed  Harish Dhami.

Not only Kanar but there are several villages in sub-divisions of Bangapani and Munsiyari, where road network is still not available due to one  or another reasons.” These villages included, Aalam Darma, Paton, Dheelam, Kultham, Saidhura, Bui, Pyangti, and Dungri villages that are situated at a distances of 5 to 16 km from main roads,” said Vijay Singh, a villager of Aalam Darma.


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