Residents of tiny hamlets spread across Himachal Pradesh's Lahaul Valley, where temperature plummet to minus 20 degrees Celsius in winter, want to see the light at the end of the Rohtang tunnel.
Every year, when heavy snowfall high up the Rohtang Pass closes the road connectivity to the valley in Lahaul-Spiti district for at least five months, the lone state-run helicopter, which normally operates once in a week to transport the locals, is the only mode of transportation.
"We want timely completion of the Rohtang tunnel to end our miseries forever," octogenarian Khajana Ram, a resident of Keylong, told IANS over phone. He said an abnormal delay in completing work on the tunnel, a strategically important project beneath the Rohtang Pass that will ensure all-weather connectivity to the valley, was a matter of concern.
Added Sonam Dolkar in Sissu village: "No vegetable other than peas and potatoes that grow locally reach here once the road links snap in December. For five months, we have to relish only the stored vegetables and meat."
Text: Vishal Gulati, IANS
Image: Tourists enjoying at Rohtang Pass after snowfall. The construction of Rohtang tunnel was envisaged in 1983 and received an boost after the Kargil war.
Image courtesy: PTI