From erratic power supply to lack of basic medical facilities, the people of Lahaul and Spiti are finding it hard this winter as the Himachal Pradesh district remains cut-off from the rest of the state due to heavy snowfall blocking all major roads.
While the district's administrative centre Keylong is without electricity for the last five days, several critically-ill patients are waiting for their turn to be airlifted to Kullu district for treatment.
There are also reports that five critically-ill patients are stuck in Tingret and Tinno areas of the Mayar valley in the tribal district.
Officials said five people, including a woman, identified as Chhomo Devi of Tingret, who suffered a cardiac arrest, and seriously injured 85-year-old Angroop of Tinno, could not be airlifted to Kullu Monday.
"We are making every possible effort to airlift the four critically-ill patients from Tingret and the fifth from Tinno of Mayar valley in Lahaul and Spiti to Kullu for treatment," Udaipur sub-divisional magistrate Subash Gautam said.
"I have already informed the General Administration Department (GAD) and the Tribal Department (TD) authorities through email and police radio message to make arrangements to airlift them to Kullu," he added.
Hopefully, Gautam added, five people, including four patients of Tingret and one attendant, will be airlifted to Kullu Tuesday.
Angroop will not make it to Tingret helipad by Tuesday as he will have to be brought at the helipad by villagers on a 'palki' (palanquin), he said, adding that efforts would be made to airlift him to Kullu Wednesday.
The power supply, most probably, would be restored in Keylong Tuesday, Gautam said.
Lahaul and Spiti is reeling under severe cold conditions with minimum temperatures settling under minus 10 degrees Celsius. All the roads in the district remain blocked due to accumulation of snow after heavy snowfall recently.
On Sunday, several villagers had to take 66-year-old woman Basanti on a 'palki' to Stingri helipad by covering about four kilometre-distance on foot.
Her condition is critical as no specialist doctor was available in Keylong hospital where she was earlier admitted, said Dr Jagdish.