Shimla: The State government on Thursday claimed that snow clearance machinery is about to reach Chandertal Lake rescue campsite, where 300 tourists have been stranded for the last five days in the Snowfall.
The information conveyed by the spokesperson of the State Chief Minister Office on Thursday morning said that ‘The Tribal Development and Revenue Minister Jagat Singh Negi and Chief Parliamentary Secretary Sanjay Awasthi had given a call to Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu this morning.’
A spokeswoman said that state government efforts succeeded this morning to clear the 25 km of snowbound serpentine nearest the approach Spiti road near the camp.
More than 40 members of the rescue operation, along with snow clearance machinery and staff, along with the Himachal Government, Minister Jagat Singh Negi, and CPS Sanjay Awasthi, have reached Chandratal this morning.
He said that it was after 18 hours of hard struggle, clearing three to four feet of snow-covered road until late at night at an altitude of 13500 to 14000 ft.
According to the sources, Negi has informed the CM through satellite phone that evacuating the stranded passengers will begin very soon. There is no need to worry anymore.
The latest information says that now the stranded tourists are being brought to Losar from Chandertal.
According to a government spokesperson, the government had also requested assistance from the Indian Air Force in evacuation processes, but it seems that due to snowfall and inclement monsoon weather, the Indian Armed Forces refused to go to Chandratal.
The spokesperson said that it is one of the most difficult rescue operations due to heavy snowfall, and CM Sukhu himself is keeping an eye.
As it had been stated, the Rescue operation couldn’t be started beyond helicopter rescue on July 11 to evacuate five people from Chandertal as approach roads have had frequent snowfall for the last three days.
As stated, clearing work has been ongoing since July 10 evening, but the rescue party has about 70–80 km of approach road.
SDM Kaza Harsh Negi, Tehsildar Bhumika Jain, Naib Tehsildar Prem Chand, SHO Sanjay Kumar, TAC member Veer Bhagat, and Losar Mahila Mandal are handling the food arrangements along with ITBP, BRO, local people from Chhewang Lidang village, Gonpo Amit Mandala, etc. from Kulig village.
On July 10, SP Lahaul Spiti Mayank Chaudhry also climbed to 14400 ft in Chandertal and successfully traced the campsite. there were 300 tourists, including 25 women, stranded on Chandertal glacial lake, but all were safe and provided food and proper shelter.
State government officials’ reports confirmed that heavy rainfall and subsequent flash floods stranded and halted as many as 24000 tourists.
The Government claimed that with the restoration of roads, about 10,000 Tourist families with children and women were evacuated safely from the state of Himachal Pradesh.
The state saw historical devastation on July 9 and 10, with the heaviest Monsoon rain, flash floods, and landslides shutting down roads and other communications, including the UNESCO heritage Kalka-Shimla Railway line, airlines, and Transport services.