Belatedly though, the poor shepherds stranded in remote and Bara Banghal area in Kangra district (which involves a trek of 70 kilometres) to their fate for past some months, will get some relief as the state government has arranged chopper service for dropping ration for them.
The helicopter would be made available on Thursday as the shepherds are stuck due to heavy and untimely snow over Dhauladhar mountain ranges, said Chief Secretary, BK Aggarwal. The Deputy Commissioner, Superintendent of Police, Sub Divisional Magistrate, Baijnath, Doctor, District Public Relations Officer, Kangra, and a cameraman would board the helicopter.
The Chief Secretary said that the proposed route of the helicopter would be Gaggal airport, Kangra-Jalsu Pass-Bara Bhangal (brief landing), Thamsar Pass-Khalihani Pass-Bara Bhangal-Jalsu Pass-Gaggal airport,” Aggarwal said.
Additional Chief Secretary, Revenue, Manisha Nanda said that the Deputy Commissioner, Kangra had on Tuesday requested the state government to provide helicopter service for air dropping of ration to the people stuck in these areas as there was possibility that they might have run out of their foodstuff.
After receiving this information, the state government immediately raised the matter with the Union Ministry of Defence and urged to provide a helicopter. A number of shepherds, who go with their flocks of sheep and goats, along with horses, to Bara Banghal looking for greener pastures in summers, had got stuck in the area, as the trek connecting the pocket had got washed off in heavy rains.
While the government had arranged ration for locals of Bara Banghal through helicopter, the shepherds were allegedly not given ration for many days.
The hurdles of system were also created in repairing the trek on time by the wildlife wing, despite the fact that any delay could have caused more problems for the shepherds and their animals.