Some years are more eventful than others. The year 1960 was such a year. The most important event of the year was shifting of the headquarters from present Old Ziro to Hapoli. We saw in a previous post that the headquarters of Subansiri Division was shifted from Kimin to Ziro eight years back when it was inaugurated by Shri R.G. Menzies on 24th March, 1952. It was B. S. Duggal, Political Officer, who established the Hapoli township which became the official headquarters. However, the name Ziro was retained. Hence, Ziro today is understood to comprise of Old Ziro and Hapoli.
The year also saw the most devastating fire accidents ever recorded in the Apatani villages – not one but three villages were almost completely burnt down. Three hundred houses and forty granaries in Hija village on May 1, 1960 were burnt down immediately followed by another one in Dutta village on May 12. A little more than two months later, fifty seven houses in Tajang village was burnt down on August 3, 1960. As an offshoot of such frequent accidents, a number of new villages sprung up – Lempia out of Tajang village, Diko Pwta (Swro) out of Hong, Swbe out of Bamin-Michi.
On a positive note, B. S. Duggal led team to Talley Valley for the first time in May, 1960. The team identified more than half a dozen species of rhododendron in the valley. They also noted that orchids and medicinal plants are plentiful.