Shimla : Upper Shimla and parts of Kinnaur continued to reel under darkness for the third consecutive day even as the ill-equipped PWD, National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), field staff of the HPSEBL and the IPH struggled to restore roads, power and water supply.
The supply of essential commodities too remained hit, with residents of Rohru, Chopal, Jubbal, Kotkhai and Nerwa finding it difficult to go about their daily chores.
As many as 835 roads, including five national highways, remained blocked. The Shimla-Narkanda-Rampur, Shimla-Theog-Rohru and Theog-Chopal roads are yet to be opened.
“Out of these 835 roads, 642 are in the Shimla zone, 139 in Mandi and 46 in Chamba district,” stated a PWD report submitted to the government.
Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur directed DCs and the PWD to restore roads and other services in the state.
As many as 66 persons were airlifted from Lahaul-Spiti to Kullu today. However, patients in the apple belt of Chopal, Jubbal-Kotkhai and Rohru had to travel over 300 kilometres to reach Chandigarh as all roads leading from Dhalli are still blocked.
The bus servics to the apple belt remained suspended. Thakur said roads leading to hospitals should be opened on priority. Officials of the Irrigation and Public Health Department were told to ensure that water supply was restored.
Though the PWD claimed to have deployed over 440 machines to restore the blocked roads, no machinery was seen on half of the roads.
The HPSEBL has no field staff to restore power cables in Shimla and Kinnaur.
Locals in several villages had to travel long distances in snow to fetch water.
The Chief Minister has appealed to the general public to be more alert and cooperate with the government and the administration.