Shimla, April 18; Use of old machinery is becoming a hindrance in snow clearing operations on various link roads in the tribal district of Lahaul and Spiti. At least 40 per cent roads remain closed due to slow pace of work particularly in Miyar valley, Chokhang, Yoche, Kaardang and in Spiti. These roads connect a large number of villages.Residents blamed lack of modern machinery and inadequate staff in the Public Works Department (PWD) for the current state of affairs.
They rued being snowbound in the valley since December as the snow covered roads prevented them from travelling. The area is prone to avalanches and people are putting their lives at risk by covering long distances on foot.Talking to The Tribune Prem Dasi, pradhan of Chimret panchayat, said they were deprived of medical facilities as the roads were not cleared of snow in Miyar valley.
She claimed that only 5 km of the 32 km road stretch in Miyar valley was cleared by the PWD till now. The work has slowed down after the machine used for removing the snow developed a technical snag, she said.
Lalit Bhushan, Superintendent Engineer, PWD, admitted that the authorities concerned were struggling hard to open the roads for public convenience. He claimed that 60 per cent of the roads maintained by the PWD were opened, while work was under way to clear the remaining stretches.
Prem Dasi said they met the Deputy Commissioner to apprise him of the problem, adding that Lahaul Spiti MLA Ravi Thakur too had been requested to raise the issue with the state government.
Lahaul Spiti MLA Ravi Thakur also admitted that non-availability of modern machinery and inadequate staff was affecting snow clearing work.“I have raised the issue of replacing the old machinery with modern equipment in the state Assembly,” he said.
News Source: Tribune India