M A I N   N E W S

LPG to be sent on mules
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Rekong Peo, June 28
Apart from saving people and their property from any further damage from a raging Sutlej, it is the logistics of meeting the daily requirements of people that is the proverbial “mountainous task”.

LPG (cooking gas) cylinders are to be sent on mules from Wangtoo located 70 km away from this district headquarters. Petrol and LPG, due to their combustibility, cannot be airlifted. Diesel and Kerosene can be taken by air.

The road has disappeared at Tapri just outside Wangtoo. A team of the Food and Civil Supplies Department was seen hiring local labourers and mules to carry out the task. They are waiting for the government to fix the rate for hiring the mules before the slow climb begins, said officials involved with the process.

There is no shortage of LPG at present but the requirement will go up in two weeks, said the team of the Food and Supplies wing.

In Kinnaur, the supply of locally grown vegetables like tomatoes or cauliflower and even potatoes, is okay. However, stocks of onions may wear out unless the Indo-Tibetan Border Police or the Army provides some from their store. Or else, the government will have to air drop the sacks of onions.

The season for the world famous Kinnauri apples is in August-end, but the question is how to transport the produce.

Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh told the Tribune: “Apple is a priority as the economy of the area depends on apples and peas. We will do everything possible.” In August 2000 when the Sutlej had washed away a major portion of the same highway, apples had to be airlifted. The immediate worry is how to get in the cardboard packaging material for the apples. The Chief Minister said the Prime Minister had assured all help but a financial package is yet to be announced.

Another immediate task is transporting the crop of peas which will start arriving by mid July.

The Old Hindustan-Tibet road is being given some repair work and teams of the PWD have gone on the route to see if the road is okay. It is a “jeepable” road and peas may be transported through this.

In Rekong Peo and beyond electricity poles and cables have been washed away. The equipment will be carried on choppers from Rampur or Shimla once the tourists are evacuated, said power officials. In the area large number of phones are not working. Power supply will be restored in three weeks.

The Chief Minister has asked his Revenue Minister, Mr Sat Mahajan, to be stationed here for two days and visit the remote areas.

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