Monday, February 26, 2001,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Snow, rain break dry spell in HP
Tribune News Service and Agencies

Shimla, February 25
Farmers heaved a sigh of relief as snow, rain and hail lashed the state today. While the city had sleet and rain in the afternoon, Solan, Mandi, Manali, Kulu and Palampur were lashed by brisk showers. The higher reaches of tribal areas had intermittent snow. The Solang nallah, the Rohtang Pass, the Hatoo peak, Shikaridevi and other high mountain ranges also had snow.

The rain has brightened the prospects of the rabi crop which had started withering due to the prolonged dry spell. The rain has brought cheer to forest officials who will now be in a position to take preventive measures to protect forests. The dry spell had completely dried out the moisture from the forest floor, making these extremely prone to fire.

High-altitude areas in the tribal districts of Lahaul-Spiti and Kinnaur had snow. Intense cold wave swept in the tribal areas where the temperature hovered around -8°C to -10°C. The snowfall was continuing when the reports last came in from Keylong.

At 13050-feet-high Rohtang Pass, gateway to Lahaul-Spiti district and the Dhauladhar mountain ranges, overlooking the Kangra valley, also had moderate snow. Higher reaches in Kulu valley and Bharmour in Chamba district also had snow. Lower areas were lashed by intermittent rain.

The lower areas of Chamba region have been having widespread rain, which is stated to be beneficial to rabi crops, agro-horticulture experts say. It is also good for the ensuing flowering season of apple and other temperate fruit crops in this alpine region.

The hydro-power experts feel that this heavy snow deposited on the massifs of Himalayas would be a big boost to increase the volume of river waters during the summer, thereby enhancing the power generation on the ongoing power projects.

The higher reaches of the Kashmir valley also recorded fresh snowfall . The snow and rain brought down the day and night temperatures, disrupting life.

About 3 to 4 cm of snowfall was recorded at various places, including the world-famous ski-resort of Gulmarg, till this afternoon.

About 1 cm of snow had accumulated in Banihal and 3 cm each in the Drass and Sonamarg belt along the Srinagar-Leh national highway.

Pahalgam, Khilanmarg, Yousmarg, Shopian, Ahrabal and Duksum also received the season’s first heavy snowfall last night. Srinagar and other areas of the Kashmir valley received moderate to heavy rain since last evening. 

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