Mandi, July 16
The role of district administration, Lahaul and Spiti, local residents and several others was commendable in the rescue of the stranded tourists from snowbound Chandratal lake in Lahaul and Spiti. Over 260 tourists were stuck at Chandratal lake area, while 52 at Batal in Lahaul and Spiti since July 8 because of heavy snowfall in the region, which snapped the road connectivity to Chandratal and Batal from Kaza.
In this rescue operation, Lahaul and Spiti SP Mayank Chaudhary, JCB Operator of BRO Sukhdev, ADC Kaza Rahul Jain and his team, local youths of Spiti valley and an old couple at Batal, owner of popular ‘Chacha-Chachi ka Dhaba’ in Spiti rendered a commendable job. Deputy Commissioner Lahaul and Spiti Rahul Kumar monitored the whole operation.
How the SP managed the situation
- Lahaul and Spiti SP Mayank Chaudhary visited Chandratal on July 8
- Meanwhile, heavy snowfall occurred in the area that blocked the Losar-Chandratal road
- The SP informed his higher authorities in Shimla about the stranded tourists, which prompted the state government to lead a rescue operation
- The SP reached out to all stranded tourists at Chandratal, informing them that a rescue operation was underway
- This saved the tourists from chaos and mental distress and gave them a ray of hope that they will be rescued soon
Lahaul and Spiti SP Mayank Chaudhary visited Chandratal on July 8. In the meantime, heavy snowfall occurred in the area, which blocked the road to traffic from Losar towards Chandratal. As a result, a large number of tourists were stuck in the area. Due to lack of mobile connectivity at Chandratal, the tourists were in limbo. The SP informed his higher authorities at Shimla about the stranded tourists, which prompted the state government to lead the rescue operation.
The SP reached the each stranded tourists at Chandratal and informed the stranded tourists that rescue operation was underway. This saved the tourists from chaos and mental distress and gave them a ray of hope that they will be rescued soon. As a result, they remained calm during that period.
They were stranded since July 8 and rescued on July 13. Due to timely information to the state headquarters at Shimla, seven critically ill tourists were evacuated with the help of a chopper from Chandratal to Bhunter airport Kullu.
The BRO workforce played a crucial role in the rescue operation as the workers worked round the clock to open the 37-km-long snowbound road stretch from Losar to Chandratal via Kunzum Pass. It took three days for the BRO to open this road. According to an official at Kaza, Sukhdev, the JCB operator of BRO, operated JCB machine for three days to restore the road earlier, though other JCB operators were also involved in the exercise.
ADC Kaza Rahul Jain led the rescue team from Kaza to Chandratal via road. Six members of the rescue team trekked to Chandratal from Pangmo heavy snow on the ground.
The popular couple running dhaba at Batal also played their role and accommodated 52 stranded tourists in their dhaba. Bodh Dorje and wife Hishe Chhomo are fondly known as ‘Chacha-Chachi’ among locals and tourists.
DC Lahaul and Spiti Rahul Kumar said nearly 70 youths from Spiti along with 30 members of the Women’s Association, Losar, actively participated in the rescue operations. Additionally, nearly 40 personnel from the BRO, the ITBP, and the Police were integral of the successful operations.
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