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Vyans Valley villagers seek more time for winter migration to lower areas, want road work delayed

Villagers of Vyans Valley have demanded 15 more days from the Pithoragarh district administration to come down to their residences in lower valleys as part of their annual winter migration, citing delay in the onset of the cold season.

dehradun Updated: Nov 25, 2017 20:10 IST
BD Kasniyal
BD Kasniyal
Hindustan Times
Vyans Valley,winter migration,road work
The Pithoragarh district administration wants to start construction work on Ghatiabagar-Lipulekh Pass road from December 1. (HT Photo)

Villagers of Vyans Valley have demanded 15 more days from the Pithoragarh district administration to come down to their residences in lower valleys as part of their annual winter migration, citing delay in the onset of the cold season.

The administration wants residents of more than 10 Vyans Valley villages in Dharchula sub-division to move to lower reaches by November 30, so that construction work will begin on a rocky portion of the road from Ghatiabagar to Lipulekh Pass, the last Indian post at the border with China.

In the absence of an alternative route, the villagers will find it difficult to move to their houses in the lower reaches after the road construction begins. “Unlike earlier years, winter has been delayed this time giving villagers a reason to hold up their movement to lower parts,” said Mahendra Singh Budiyal, a BJP leader in Dharchula.

The district administration is firm on resuming road construction on December 1. “We have told the villagers to migrate till November 30 and thereafter no permission will be given to them for movement on the route,” RK Pandey, Dharchula sub-divisional magistrate (SDM), told Hindustan Times.

The villagers want the administration to start work on a 6-km rocky patch between Nazang and Bundi after December 15. Work on the 6-km portion of the 75-km double-lane motor road from Ghatiabagar to Lipulekh Pass is one of the most challenging projects of the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) owing to the rocky terrain.

“After construction of the double-lane motor road to the last security point at India-China border in Vyans Valley, the last border post will be linked to the mainstream of the country,” said Pandey.

The construction of the road started in 2002 and was scheduled to be completed by 2007, but due to tough and rocky portions on the site, the work got delayed. The administration now aims at completing the construction by 2019.

Officials said an alternative route will be constructed for the movement of people. “We are also developing an alternative route to ensure human transportation during the construction of the road,” the SDM said.

First Published: Nov 25, 2017 19:33 IST