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CTA funded river barriers nears completion in Kullu Manali Tibetan settlement

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The concrete barrier along the Tibetan settlement in Kullu Manali near the Beas river nears completion (Photo/Rinchen Biker)

By Tsering Dhundup

Dharamshala, June 8: Ahead of the onslaught of India’s monsoon rains, the Central Tibetan Administration funded river-barriers are nearing completion at Tibetans settlements near Manali in Northern India,  which are vulnerable to overflowing rivers. Tibetan settlements along the Beas River including Dhobi settlement, 15 Mile, and Kullu Yolukhoe have an extra layer of security with the soon to be completed project.

These initiatives come after last year’s severe monsoon rains and flash floods, which devastated many regions in Himachal Pradesh and other parts of India. According to Tsultrim Dorjee, the settlement officer for Kullu Manali, the construction in Dhobi and 15 Mile is already complete, while the final phase in Kullu Yolukhoe is expected to be finished within a month, ahead of this year’s monsoon season.

“There are six settlements under Dobhi Pelrabling, with Dhobi, 15 Mile, and Kullu Yolukhoe being the most vulnerable due to their proximity to the river,” stated Dorjee. “After last year’s flash floods, we proposed grants to build these barriers to the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), and they provided the necessary funding. In Dhobi settlement, reconstruction of existing barriers is completed and new constructions will be completed in a week. The 15-mile barrier is already finished, and one barrier in Kullu Yolukhoe is done, with the second one expected to be completed in 20 days.”

The CTA has allocated approximately two and a half crore rupees for these projects. This budget also covers the construction of essential amenities such as toilets and safety tanks within the settlements. Notably, 15-20% of the cost of the project to build the river barriers are contributed by the general public.

Rinchen, a resident of the Kullu Yolukhoe settlement, expressed mixed feelings about the new structures. “The RCC river barriers built by the CTA are very good, but there are doubts among the people whether the barriers will hold up during this monsoon,” he told Phayul. Despite these concerns, the residents acknowledge the substantial investment and effort by the Tibetan government to protect their homes and livelihoods.

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