This year Mugu and Humla faced a very early snowfall from 29th November 2019. This snow made it harder for the RBGs to work and most of the RBGs from Mugu and Humla stopped working for a few weeks. So far, we have already had three major snowfalls this year and they arrived earlier than last winter’s first snowfall which was not observed until mid-January. On average, with each snowfall, we have had 3 feet of thick snow around Chankheli pass and between 1.5 to 2 feet around Saatthaple and other parts of Humla. Due to the fact that most of the Humla sections are north-facing sides, snow melting takes a long time. With the first snowfall, excavators were mobilized to clear snow from Chankheli pass to Digapani which made road pliable for a few days. We then hired local tractors for transporting diesel and other construction materials at Saatthaple and Melchham site offices. During this period, around 36,000 ltrs. of diesel was stocked at Melcham and other construction materials to ensure uninterrupted operation of excavators and other RBG/SRBG work at Humla section during this heavy snowfall season. However, with more heavy snowfall adding to the existing layer the clearing of the road surface is no longer possible.
The extremely cold climate and slippery road surface after freezing the surface snow have made it difficult for the mobility of staff and other local pedestrians. As a precaution, the Project Field Office (PFO) decided to shift all staff and machines works from Saatthaple office to Bohorabada which is at a lower altitude compared to Saatthaple and so slightly warmer. A temporary field office has been established and all field activities are now being run from there.
In spite of all the difficulties, the field team is utilizing available resources to their best to expedite the work progress. We are very impressed and proud of the hard work and dedication of our team in these challenging conditions.