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Snowfall prompts seasonal migration in Humla



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By Rajan Rawat, Humla, Dec. 21: The residents of Hilsa Bazaar on the Nepali side of the Nepal-China border have come down to the district headquarters Simkot leaving the houses in the care of six caretakers.

The owners of the houses have gone to Simkot after handing over the houses to guards as businesses could not be operated due to the snowfall and ensuing cold.

Karma Lama, who operates the Manasarovar Hotel in Hilsa, said that he went to Simkot leaving the hotel to a caretaker.

He said the temperature in the hills had dipped to minus 17 degrees Celsius, making it difficult to stay in the area.

More than a dozen large tourist and other small hotels have been operating in the hills.

However, since the closure of the Hilsa border crossing after the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been little trade.

In the previous years, there used to be ten to 12 guards in the time of winter, but this year the hotel owners have left six people behind.

Now, six people are in charge of Hilsa Bazaar till next May.

Stating that there will be no movement of people during the period, Lama said that food had been managed for the guards.

Around 100 households including general people have been staying in Hilsa.

Yakyong Lama, a caretaker of Manasarovar Hotel in Hilsa, said that he would stay as caretaker for four months.

He said that it was difficult to spend the day as there was no other work but they have been spending time together by talking.

He said that they had to spend the day heating the house as it was getting colder.

Although immigration and customs offices have been established there, those offices have been closed for two years. Along with guards, security personnel of border security posts will also be stationed in Hilsa.

According to Armed Police Inspector Purna Bahadur Chand, in-charge of the Border Security Post (BOP), they are going to the kit area for daily border patrol even though if it is not snowing, it gets colder.

He said that it was not possible to patrol the Nara area as there was up to three feet of snow in the area.

He said that it was not possible to patrol the Nara area as there was up to three feet of snow in the area.

Stating that water has to be boiled and poured to extract tap water due to low temperature, he said that water in Karnali River has frozen.

He said that communication can only be done through the internet of WorldLink or Chinese border when the sun is shining.

In the district headquarters Simkot, contact is made only in the morning, he said.