Almost all stranded tourists were evacuated from the snow and rain-ravaged Kinnaur and essential supplies were dropped in the areas that still remained cut off as three IAF helicopters and one state-leased aircraft made numerous sorties today.
In all 118 persons were evacuated and a large number of local people were airlifted within the district from Pooh to Sumdoh and Reckong Peo and from Sumdoh to Reckong Peo and Pooh. As many as 97 persons were rescued from Sangla, who included 68 tourists, out of whom were 14 Americans. From Nako 15 persons were evacuated and six from Pooh. There are still about 100 local persons queued up for airlifting from Sangla.
The state helicopter dropped electronic voting machines (EVMs) and other poll material to Sangla, Pooh, Sumdoh, Gyaban, Choling, Nichar, Jangi and other places. The State Road Transport Corporation resumed bus services between Reckong Peo and Shimla.
The IAF helicopters dropped 2,500 litre of kerosene, 40 quintals of wheat flour, 15 quintals of rice and 2.5 quintals of salt at Sangla where the restoration of road connectivity could take about a fortnight. Supplies were also being replenished at Reckong Peo and six trucks of wheat flour and four trucks of cooking gas refills, two tankers of diesel and one of petrol was on way.
With sufficient supplies of diesel available, the construction machinery was fully deployed for restoration of roads. The district administration had assessed the demand of diesel for machinery at 3,000 litre per day. The road from the Lahaul side had also been restored up to Sumdoh and if required supplies would be sent from that side.
The main problem is being encountered in the restoration of the road from Reckong Peo to Sumdoh as large stretches have been completely wiped out by landslides. There is hardly any construction machinery in between which can be deployed to expedite work and the BRO will have to restore the road gradually.