Arunachal Pradesh's Siang district experiments shipping with mules
Official sources said that custody and maintenance of the animals would be under a committee in each village headed by the village chieftain.
GUWAHATI: In areas that are far-flung and not motorable, mules can be an option to ship essential items. In the Siang district of Himalayan Arunachal Pradesh, the authorities gifted ten mules to the village committee of Payum circle so that they are used to bring essentials.
Most villages of Payum are not yet connected by motorable road and this forced the locals to carry ration and other essential items on head-load from the last vehicle point at Molo, the distance ranging from 10km to 25km.
To ease the difficulties of the villagers, the district administration initiated the mule service on a trial basis for carrying PDS and other essential commodities. This followed the first-hand experience of District Magistrate Atul Tayeng who had been to the region last month.
Official sources said that custody and maintenance of the animals would be under a committee in each village headed by the village chieftain. The administration offered financial support for the procurement of mules and training on handling of the animal.
Tayeng assured the villagers that more animals would be gifted to each village if the experiment bears fruits. A road is being constructed to connect the circle.
The DM told the village committee that initially, observation and care would be required on the adaptability of the animals. He directed the village authorities and officials to make use of the mule service and ensure that PDS items are regularly delivered to the villages by the fair price shops concerned.
The villagers appreciated the initiative and hoped it would ease their difficulties. They requested for provision of proper training for handling of the animals by an expert person. Given hostile terrain, many areas of Arunachal are virtually inaccessible to this day. The administration, Election Commission and even the Army take the help of porters to ferry material and essential items.