Rehabilitate flash flood-hit people: Himachal CM

Keylong, Oct 6 (IANS) Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh on Thursday told local authorities to rehabilitate the people of Changut village in Lahaul-Spiti district who were hit by a flash flood.

The Chief Minister directed the Lahaul-Spiti administration to rehabilitate the villagers by providing them “nautor land” as the entire village was washed away in the flash floods on August 14, 2014.

“Nautor Land” means the right to utilise, with the sanction of authorities, wasteland owned by the government outside towns, reserved and demarcated protected forests and such areas as may be notified by the government.

Addressing a public meeting at Chhaling in the remote Mayar Valley after inaugurating a bridge, he said it was due to compulsion that the people of the few villages who were affected by flash floods occupied the government land.

He directed the administration to restore their electricity connections.

He said out of total 28 panchayats in the Lahaul Valley, 27 panchayats had been connected with roads and the remaining Naalda panchayat would get road connectivity.

Addressing a gathering at Udaipur, the Chief Minister announced to restart bus service from Udaipur to Chamba via Sachh Pass.

He said with opening of the Rohtang tunnel, the area would be accessible to all and a large number of tourists would visit the Lahaul Valley which would make people economically sound.

The Lahaul Valley, about 350 km from state capital Shimla, remains cut off due to heavy snow accumulation in the Rohtang Pass (13,050 feet) – the only connection with Manali in Kullu district. It reopens once snow starts thawing after mid-April.

The Buddhist-dominated district in the Himalayan terrain at elevations ranging from 15,000 to 20,000 feet above sea level attracts globetrotters not only for nature-based activities but also to ancient monasteries.