By Tenzin Dharpo
Damaged possessions of Tibetans. Photo- Phayul source
DHARAMSHALA, Sep. 27: Palrabling Tibetan settlement known commonly as Dhobi settlement near Manali is among the worst hit in the damages following flash floods caused by incessant rain in North India over the past few days. Residents are now slowly etching towards normality, however left mostly on their own device in the relief work, a resident told Phayul.
Heavy rains over the course of the weekend in north India saw swollen rivers and landslides causing at least 200 separate incidents of damage to various national highways and link roads connecting the region and death of eight people as of now.
The Tibetan refugee settlement situated on the banks of the Beas river between Manali and Kullu suffered damages to properties and flooding forcing residents to move up to higher grounds.
Sangyal, a resident of the Tibetan settlement told Phayul, “The settlement was sandwiched between the Beas river and the stream on the other side that was swollen due to a cloud burst on Sunday morning. Our camp turned into an island. We spent three days on higher grounds as most of the houses were flooded.”
He also said that many of the current residents of the settlements are elderly people who had to be moved physically making the emergency response slower and risky. A few personnel from the Indian army and local police were deployed to help the Tibetans on Sunday.
The view of the settlement after water level receded. Photo- Phayul source
Out of the 8 blocks of the settlement, 4 remain flooded with mud and debris brought by the water and Tibetans there are mostly left on their own device in the relief works. The road leading to the settlement has also been washed away. Conclusive assessment of damages there could not be ascertained as buildings remain flooded at the moment with mud and debris.
On Wednesday, the Home Minister of the Central Tibetan Administration Sonam Topgyal Khorlatsang visited the settlement and met with the residents and promised help from the exile administration.
Tibetans from Manali and Kullu area have also reached out today with supplies. However, the Tibetan settlement of close to 75 households are facing acute shortage of basic amenities and relief work are progressing at a slow pace, Phayul’s source said.
A scheduled visit by the Tibetan leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama planned for teachings in Manali and a visit to the settlement in October has been postponed due to damages to infrastructure in the region.