The development of tribal areas in the state, is another step taken by
the government for its economic development. The two border districts
of Kinnaur and Lahaul and Spiti and the Pangi and Brahmour tehsils of
chamber districts are the main tribal areas of the state. They are located
on he borders of Tibet. Cut off from the country and even from the rest
of Himachal Pradesh for lack of motorable roads, life in these areas had
grown in isolation.
Kinnaur opened up in early nineteen sixties with the
completion of the Hindustan-Tibet National highway and the construction
of link roads to it. Land tenure system has improved, and tenants have
become land owners. They are using improved seeds, fertilizers and pesticides
and most of the households have fruit trees, mostly apple. they are engaged
in cottage industries, the most important being the spinning and weaving
Lahaul was opened up in the late sixties with the construction
of motorable road over Rohtang pass. High passes like Rohtang (130,50ft),
Kunzum (14,913ft) and Baralarcha (14,000ft) provide the only contact to
Lahaul. Lahaul has fertile valleys.
Spiti is almost a hill desert and has seen much less
development. A hill desert development plan under which, it is proposed
to link irrigation channel to major glaciers and streams which can provide
adequate amount of water to large number of fields. Lift irrigation schemes
are being undertaken, in the areas of Spiti, Chandra and Bhaga rivers.
Building up of an efficient transport system was the
top priority in the 1st Five year plan. The state has 2 airports at Bhintar
in Kulu district, and at Jubbarhatti near Shimla. Another airport at Gaggal
in Kangra district and sites at Mandi, Hamerpur and Chamba have been identified.
It was only by Jan 1991 Himachal was linked with the broad gauge system
in UNA by extending the Delhi-Nangal rail line. But railways and airways
in Himachal can serve very limited transport needs of the people of the
state. Road transport constitutes the very plasma of economic and social
infra structure in Himachal.