M A I N   N E W S

Manali-Rohtang road blocked after fresh snowfall
Tribune Reporters

Mandi, October 3
The 24-hour-long uninterrupted spell of rain in the region and snowfall in the higher reaches have come as a boon for the hydro power generation in the state, but it has badly hit paddy, potatoes and maize growers in the region, besides sending a chilling wave in the state for the first time.

The Rohtang pass at 13,500 ft is reported to have experienced more than 1 foot of snow, hitting the transportation of Lahaul’s potatoes to the markets as the Manali-Keylong-Leh highway has remained closed for traffic from today afternoon from Marhi, about 50 km from Manali.

The rain has been reported in the Parbati-Manikaran-Kulu valley, Mandi and Bilaspur districts, hitting the paddy, maize and potato crops as these were ready for harvesting in several parts in the region.

“Even the fodder being cut for the winter to feed cattle, sheep and goats may get rotten in the ghasnis due to the rain, said Mr R.N. Verma, a resident of the Balh valley, where the paddy crop is being harvested.

The rain will hit the paddy crop, which is the mainstay of the valley,” he rues.

Potato growers say the rain has hit the crop in many places. The crop can be rotten as the rain is showing no sign of stopping till the filing of this report.

“We have already transported over 50 per cent of the crop, but if it does not stop in a day or two, it can ruin the produce,” says Mr Khem Singh, a potato grower from Lahaul.

The Beas river has surged to more than half-an-inch from the level it had recorded during the monsoon this season, says Mr Devinder Thakur, Additional Superintendent of Police, Kulu, who lives in the police lines along Beas in Kulu.

The Beas has raised the water level in the Pandoh reservoir by a few inches that has come as a boon for the Beas-Sutlej Link (BSL) power generation, said BBMB engineers.

Even small nallah and rivulets that feed the Beas have surged in several places in the region due to the long spell of rain.

The Rohtang pass has recorded over 1.5 feet of snowfall till 5 pm. The snow has blocked the flow of tourists coming from Keylong.

“The stray tourist vehicles reached here in the morning from Manali, but they went back as it has snow more than half foot here,” says Mr Ved Thakur, a resident of Nehru Kund, about 16 from Manali.

“Though the road is being cleared by the GREF which maintains the National Highway-21 upwards from Marhi, about 10 km short of Rohtang pass, the snow has disrupted the work.”

MANALI: The 13,050 foot high Rohtang pass, the gateway to Lahaul-Spiti, has experienced the season’s first snowfall while the lower parts of the Manali region had been lashed by rain since yesterday. Hundreds of vehicles, including trucks carrying potato, were stranded at different places on the highway.

Due to fresh snowfall on the higher reaches of the Pir Panjal ranges, including Hamta pass, Patalsu peak, Brighu slopes and Marhi, the upper Manali region remained in the grip of severe cold wave .

The 475-km-long Manali-Leh highway, the lifeline of the Lahaul-Spiti and Leh-Ladakh region, was closed to vehicular traffic in the wake of fresh snowfall at Rohtang pass, Baralacha pass (4,883 metre), Lachlang-la (5,605 metre) and Tanglang-la (5,328 metre). The Manali-Kaza road in the Spiti valley also has remained closed to vehicular traffic due to fresh snowfall on (4,551 metre) high Kunjum pass .

The Manali-Rohtang pass road has become accessible for vehicles till Marhi.

Meanwhile, most of the tourist rushed to Marhi and Rahni Nallah to see snow.

According to sources due to fresh snowfall on the Rohtang pass all tourist buses and taxis also stopped near Marhi, about 37 km from here and had to return .

SHIMLA: Normal life in the state was thrown out of gear as widespread intermittent rain and snow continued to lash the region for the second consecutive day today.

The entire Kulu valley and Kangra, Hamirpur, Shimla, Solan and Mandi areas are having incessant rain.

HAMIRPUR: It has been raining heavily and intermittently throughout the district since Saturday afternoon as a result the temperature has fallen sharply. The rain has also compelled the people to wear light woollens.

Reports reaching here from interiors of the district say road traffic, power supply and water supply has been hit. Being Sunday and holiday today, it was becoming difficult to clear the debris that has fallen on the roads.

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