Not only residents and tourists but patients in Manali and Kullu hospitals are having a harrowing time as the tourist resorts remained without electricity for the sixth day on Thursday. Besides, power supply to over 250 villages, which was snapped following the heavy snowfall in the region, has still to be restored. The power disruption has severely impacted the communications network in the region.
Over 200 patients at the Zonal Hospital in Kullu who are facing a tough time due to no power. During the past five days at least 50 surgeries have been put off as there is no electricity in Kullu and the 300-bed hospital is dependent on a generator for power backup.
"It's become increasingly difficult to run medical services in the absence of the power," the hospital's officiating chief medical officer Dr Kamal Kapoor said. "We had to defer surgeries as we can't afford take a risk with patients in a critical situation. Though we have power backup one never knows when the generator might develop a fault," he added.
Hospital patients and their attendants were in for more difficult times as the prevailing cold wave has intensified following the heavy snowfall. In Manali the Mercury dipped to minus four degrees Celsius while in Kullu the minimum temperature recorded was minus 1.4 degree C.
"There is no arrangement for heating the rooms. It's difficult for the patients at the hospital," said Pradeep Kumar, an attendant with a patient, Meena Devi, who has been in the hospital for the past five days. "I get hot water bottles from my relatives to keep patients warm during the night when it becomes extremely cold," said Jeet Ram.
Most of the patients are undergoing treatment for problems related to orthopaedic, gynaecological, eye and other ailments and those requiring critical care are being referred to the zonal hospital in Mandi. "We shifted two patients to Mandi" said the chief medical officer.
The X-ray plant at the hospital is not fully operational. "We have stopped general X rays at the hospital, since we are dependent on generator for powers," said Kapoor.
Patients as well as the locals will have to wait for another day for power supply. In spite of 300 electricians working hard to restore power, supply has to be restored. The 132 kV main power line broke down in Panarsa and six power conductors were damaged in the snowfall.
"It's going to take at least another day to restore power", said an official of the Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board.