Lahaul-Spiti, Kinnaur powerless in freezing cold

SHIMLA: Residents in the tribal belt of Lahaul-Spiti, Kinnaur and Pangi in Bharmour have been powerless in the freezing temperature for the last one week as transmission lines have been snapped at several places due to the intermittent spells of heavy snow throughout the region.

editorial@tribune.com

Kuldeep Chauhan

Tribune News Service

Shimla, February 27

Residents in the tribal belt of Lahaul-Spiti, Kinnaur and Pangi in Bharmour have been powerless in the freezing temperature for the last one week as transmission lines have been snapped at several places due to the intermittent spells of heavy snow throughout the region.

The Public Works Department (PWD) restored the breached culvert across the Satluj on the Tapri-Karcham stretch of the national highway for small vehicles today after 30 hours.

The melting snow and rain washed away the culverts at Urni while the Urni-Tapri link on the higher spot caved in due to a landslide.

Kinnaur Deputy Commissioner DD Sharma said the culvert had been restored for one-way movement for small vehicles. “The efforts are on to restore the higher Urni link but the falling boulders remain a problem,” he added.

The State Electricity Board (HPSEB) linemen restored electricity to Reckong Peo town, the district headquarters, today after three days but the rest of the district, including Spiti, Poo, Sangla valley and Nichar, have been powerless for the last four days, resented the residents.

The worst-hit were Lahaul-Spiti and Pangi which experienced more than two feet of fresh snow.

They have been cut off with no power and communication connectivity for more than a week, lamented Himal Thakur, a resident of Lahaul.

Electricity to Keylong, the district headquarters, also remained snapped.

The residents in Spiti have no power for the last one week as lines from Kinnaur have been damaged, said Ramesh, a resident of Kaza in Spiti.

While the Rongton project in Spiti remained shut for over a month, the Thirot project in Lahaul could not be run due to the breached transmission lines, revealed the HPSEB field staff. It is difficult to restore the lines in three to four feet snow as the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) is yet to restore the Koksar-Sissu-Keylong-Darcha and Keylong-Udaipur roads, they added.

The HPSEB and BRO are on the job to restore connectivity but the region has received more than two feet snow in many parts of the district, said Lahaul-Spiti DC HR Cahuhan.

Helicopter flights to Lahaul could not be resumed due to the packed weather.

The functioning of the administration has suffered due to snapping of the communication connectivity to Kinnaur, Lahaul-Spiti and Pangi.

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