While people are making optimum use of communication technology, the inhabitants of Ropa valley in tribal belt of Kinnaur district are struggling hard to stay connected with the rest of the world.
The valley often suffers power cuts during winters. The summers are no better. Hit with power cuts, the major casualty is the solitary telecom company Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) mobile tower, which severs the valley from the outside world.
The recent snowfall in the first week of this month has thrown the valley out of gear. The power crises, doubled with the technical snag having cropped up in the tower have silenced the mobile phones, which were the only means to stay in touch.
The land lines have since long, almost more than a decade ago winded up, after damages to optical fibre cables due to widening of the link road leading to the valley from NH 5.
The residents have almost given up hope on the restoration of the land lines and the landline devices are lying useless. There are five villages falling in Ropa valley, with a population of more than 3,000 people who are repeatedly forced to suffer.
In case of any emergency, to get connected with their relatives located in the other parts of the state and country, the residents often have to travel more than 30 kms to Spillo or Pooh.
The Spillo village has BSNL as well as Airtel towers that offer more scope to remain connected to the residents who have subscribed to both telecom players.
While, the remaining back in their native place pin hope and wait for restoration of power supply and also check on signals of their mobile to be able to get connected with their near and dear ones.
Laxmi Negi a residing in Shimla said, “To talk to my parents as not at my own will, it is all dependent on the signal of the BSNL tower. When ever, I had tried calling my father or my relatives back home, the only response I get is that the mobile are switched off since last one month. It was last Sunday that I got to talk to my father who travelled to Spillo just to make a call.”
This is not a solitary case, many like her face the similar problem.
When contacted over phone, BSNL Reckong Peo Divisional Engineer Gurdiyal Negi said, “The connectivity mobile tower had suffered owing to power. Efforts are on replace the three phase- power plant of the mobile town that had burnt down. To tide over the power crisis we will be supplying diesel to run the generator, which however we were unable to after the road connectivity was also snapped.”