M A I N   N E W S

Cold tightens grip on north
Several highways closed in HP, J&K
Tribune Reporters

Shimla/Srinagar/Chandigarh, January 22
The cold wave tightened its grip on northern India as heavy snowfall in Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh and widespread rain in the plains sent shivers down the region.

Temperatures in various parts of Kashmir were a degree below zero and a high alert was sounded for visitors to hill resorts of Himachal Pradesh that were covered with snow.

Vehicular traffic could not ply on most of the icy roads of Shimla. The road leading to Kufri and Narkanda on the Hindustan-Tibet road (NH 22) has been blocked at several places since Friday. The police said around 50 vehicles were stranded at Kufri but their occupants had walked to safety.

Vehicles could not ply to parts of Upper Shimla, including Rampur, Rohru and Jubbal.

Snowfall or icy winds continued to lash Dalhousie and other resorts of the state.

Punjab and Haryana also reeled under bitter cold, with Chandigarh recording its coldest day at 5 C.

The 300-km-long Jammu-Srinagar highway and most of the roads in Jammu and Kashmir have been blocked due to snowfall and landslides. The traffic on the Jammu-Srinagar highway and Jammu-Rajouri road has been suspended.

While the Solang ski resort has recorded over 86 cm of snow, Dhundhi region in Pir Panjal in upper Manali region has received over 155 cm of snow. The bus services to Manali have been restricted to Patlikuhan.

In Palampur, three feet of snow has been recorded at Billing, a hang gliding centre.

McLeodgang, Bagsunag, Naddi and Dal have also experienced heavy snowfall, cutting off the area from Dharamsala.

In Chamba district, the Chamba-Pathankot highway has been blocked at Banikhet following heavy snowfall.

Bone-chilling cold conditions along with snowfall have continued in the tribal belt of Lahaul, Spiti, Pangi, Kinnaur and Dodra-Kwar region of the state, cutting it off from the rest of the country.

Snowfall in Kasauli
Ambika Sharma

Kasauli, January 22
The hill station witnessed its first snowfall of the season bringing cheer to the residents and tourists alike today.

Though the weather had remained chilly for the past one week, snow had eluded the hill station till now. It was a pleasant surprise for the residents when they woke up to find snow flakes falling.

However, strong winds prevented the flakes from settling on the ground for long. This is for the first time in years that the station has witnessed snowfall during the day.

Snowfall, though mild, began in the morning and continued throughout the day. Tourists, who had come to the station from Chandigarh and nearby places yesterday, spared no time in coming out and enjoying the white magic.

Hoteliers and restaurant owners did brisk business as they received heavy rush of tourists.

Others places in the district, including Chail and Barog, also witnessed snowfall.Back


Vaishno Devi receives snowfall

Jammu, January 22
The holy cave shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi and higher reaches of Jammu region experienced fresh snowfall today, while the lower areas received incessant rain during the past 24 hours.

Official sources said the shrine experienced two feet of snow, while Patnitop recorded over four feet of snow. UNI

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