Snowfall throws life out of gear in higher reaches of HP; oppn Cong targets govt


SHIMLA: Normal life remained out of gear in the higher reaches of Himachal Pradesh, including in capital Shimla, on Saturday as most roads were blocked following the recent snowfall, and contractors tasked with clearing the snow staged a protest.

Talking to the media here, Shimla Rural MLA Vikramaditya Singh of the Congress said the contractors brought forward their protest originally proposed for Monday, adversely affecting the snow clearance work from most of the roads in Shimla, Kullu, and Chamba districts.

Blaming the Jai Ram Thakur-led BJP government in the state for the crisis, the Congress MLA said representatives of the contractors had met the chief minister several times in support of their demands for the release of their arrears and GST refunds but the issue was not resolved.

The state government should immediately resolve their grievances to provide relief to the general public as the contractors with their men and machinery play an important role in clearing snow from the roads, he said.

State Congress president Kuldeep Singh Rathore alleged that the state government has failed to restore normal life despite clear weather on Saturday. “People are suffering as the power supply in several parts has also been affected, and the state government has failed to restore it,” Rathore said.

Meanwhile, Urban Development Minister Suresh Bhardwaj urged the contractors not to stop the work of clearing the roads. Contractors play a vital role in restoring normal life after a snowfall, and they should do so this time too, and the government will resolve their grievances at the earliest, he assured in a statement.

The minister said the issue would be taken up with the chief minister after his arrival in Shimla, and it would be resolved accordingly. The chief minister was in his home district Mandi on Saturday and is likely to return to Shimla soon.