Lahaul-Spiti residents worried about low winter stocks

Shimla: With higher reaches of the mountain ranges having received a bout of early snows, residents of Lahaul and Spiti are a worried lot for the government is yet to take steps to stock fuel wood, coal and essential food items needed for living under harsh winter conditions.

“The high altitude Kunzam pass connecting Lahaul valley with Spiti closes down by end of October and Rohtang Pass is officially closed by 15th November,” says legislator Ram Lal Markandey, “and tenders for procuring and transporting coal are yet to be put out.”

A delegation of about 75 people of concerned residents for the high altitude zone recently met chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal and apprised him about the low stocks of essentials to face the winter in the district.

Markandey said, Lahaul needs about 15,000 tons of fuel wood and Spiti another 25,000 tons. Lahaul uses about 15 rail bogies of coal supply and Spiti about 12 bogies he said and the state civil supplies which stocks up these goods in the region has not even started the tender process, he claimed.

He disclosed that earlier deputy commissioner took independent decisions for meet winter requirements but with the previous government handing over these operations to the state civil supply corporation, delays were resulting which could cost dear should winters set in early.

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