March 6: Development projects in Mustang have come to a standstill due to two-weeks of continuous snowfall. Although the snowfall has ceased from Monday, life is yet to come back to normalcy as the snow hasn’t melted.
Besides, the excessive snowfall also buried yaks and other rare species of animals in the remote mountainous district. Farmers have also suffered losses due to the snowfall this winter.
According to Chiring Lhamu Gurung, chief of the District Coordination Committee, construction of roads, bridges, buildings, irrigation projects as well as laying of drinking water pipes have come to a halt as a result of the snowfall, which continued unabated till the first week of March this year.
Gurung said that the workers from Dang, Dhading, Banke and Bardiya have returned back after being unable to work in the freezing temperature.
The Beni-Jomsom-Korala Road Project under the national pride project Kali Gandaki Corridor has been affected by the adverse weather.
Project chief Mukunda Adhikari said that completion of four bridges which are in the final stages has also stalled. The project has planned to continue the work one month later.
Locals of upper Mustang, who migrate to lowlands to avoid extreme cold in the winter, have not been able to return back to their homes.
Sheep, mountain goats and yaks have started dying due to the unavailability of food as their grazing grounds remain covered with snow. Deer, musk deer and other wild animals have also been affected due to lack of food, informed Ranger Dhanu Gurung of Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP).
Taksar Lowa, a local of upper Mustang, said numerous wild animals including musk deer, deer have been buried by snow in the northern areas near the Tibet border.