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Snow piles up in Shimla, Kinnaur, Manali
Shimla, February 15
The tribal Kinnaur district, upper Shimla region and Manali experienced the heaviest snowfall of the season today. Intermittent heavy rain and sleet lashed lower and middle hills, disrupting life in several parts of the state.
Tourists at The Ridge after a heavy snowfall in Shimla on Saturday Tourists at The Ridge after a heavy snowfall in Shimla on Saturday. Photo: Amit Kanwar

Nagrota Bagwan gets engg college
Nagrota Bagwan (Dharamsala), February 15
Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh today laid the foundation stone of Government Engineering College at Nagrota Bagwan, the Assembly constituency of GS Bali. This will be the third Government Engineering College in the state.
Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh lays the foundation stone of the Government Engineering College at Nagrota Bagwan in Dharamsala on Saturday Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh lays the foundation stone of the Government Engineering College at Nagrota Bagwan in Dharamsala on Saturday. Photo: Kamaljeet


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Govt trying to sabotage Modi rally: Dhumal
Sujanpur (Hamirpur), February 15
BJP leaders, who have been busy making arrangements for the Sujanpur rally of partys prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, heaved a sigh of relief after the weather cleared a bit in the evening today.


The site of the Modi rally to be held at Sujanpur in Hamirpur on Sunday. Photo: Kamaljeet

The site of the Modi rally to be held at Sujanpur in Hamirpur on Sunday

Three youths killed as vehicle rolls into gorge
Nahan, February 15
Three persons were killed and six others injured when the Tata Sumo (HP-03A-B-0373) they were travelling in rolled into a 100-foot-deep gorge in the Kandabhatnol area of Shillai subdivision today.





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Snow piles up in Shimla, Kinnaur, Manali
Tribune Reporters

Shimla, February 15
The tribal Kinnaur district, upper Shimla region and Manali experienced the heaviest snowfall of the season today. Intermittent heavy rain and sleet lashed lower and middle hills, disrupting life in several parts of the state.

The Hindustan-Tibet and Kiratpur-Manali national highways were blocked by heavy snow, while Kinnaur, upper Shimla and Manali were cut off due to fresh snowfall. Avalanche hit Bhagat, Tinku, Tangi and Ralli Nullahs in Kinnaur district affecting traffic.

All link roads in Kinnaur and the national highway were closed beyond 
Nathpa. Snow-clearing machinery and earth removers were reportedly positioned at vulnerable points and efforts were afoot to clear snow, said Kinnaur DC JM Pathania.

Rohroo, Jubbal, Hatkoti, Chopal and Nerwa areas of Shimla district were cut off due to heavy snowfall and Khara-Patthar was covered with 100 cm snow. Bus services to upper Shimla were suspended beyond Shimla, while Rampur-bound buses were being diverted via Basantpur and Kingal.

Moorang, Sangla, Chitkul, Narkanda, Fagu and Manali received 150 cm, 120 cm, 110 cm, 100 cm, 90 cm and 110 cm snow during the past 70 hours and intermittent snowfall is continuing. Shimla received 25 cm fresh snowfall. The entire town was covered with a thick blanket of impeccable white snow.

Barog, Chail and Kasauli also experienced mild snowfall, while lower areas of the Dhauladhars, Bhuntar and Kullu experienced another spell of light snowfall. Kalpa received 49.4 cm snow followed by Manali 45 cm, Jubbal 35 cm, Bijahi 33 cm, Sarahan 28 cm, Chhatarai 27 cm, Shimla 25 cm, Bharmour 20 cm, Saluni 18 cm and Keylong 5 cm.

Rains lashed middle and lower hills and Kheri was the wettest in the region with 63 mm rain, followed by Kangra 52 mm, Renuka 50 mm, Sangrah 49 mm, Chamba 44 mm, Amb 42 mm, Bhuntar 40 mm, Gohar 39 mm, Nagrota Suriyan and Dharamsala 38 mm, Nahan 34 mm, Palampur 33 mm, Hamirpur 31 mm, Nurpur and Naina Devi 28 mm, Solan 28 mm, Sundernagar 27 mm, Bilaspur 17mm and Una 5 mm.

There was no appreciable change in minimum temperatures in the last 24 hours and Bharmaur recorded the lowest at -12.1C, Keylong -6.8C, Kalpa -4.8C, while the key tourist resorts of Dalhousie, Manali and Shimla shivered under sub-zero temperatures with the mercury plummeting to -2.1C, -1.2C and -0.3C. Chamba recorded a low of 2.2C followed by Bhuntar 2.6C, Nahan 2.8C, Solan 3C, Sundernagar 5.5C, Dharamsala 5.6C, Hamirpur 7.5C and Una 7.8C.

The maximum temperatures decreased by 7-8C. Una was the warmest at 15.4C, followed by Dharamsala 13.4C, Nahan 10.5C, Sundernagar 7.4C, Solan 6.5C, Bhuntar 4.6C, Shimla 2.5C and Kalpa -1.2C.

The local Met office has predicted rain or snow at isolated places in middle and high hills during the next 24 hours.

Weather puts life out of gear

MANALI: Moderate to heavy snowfall in the upper Kullu threw life out of gear today.

Manali and its surrounding areas experienced the season's heaviest snowfall. With there being continuous snowfall since yesterday, residents in upper Manali were seen clearing snow from rooftops.

SDM, Manali, Vinay Dhiman said the threat of an avalanche loomed over the upper Manali region between Nehru Kund and Palchan on the Manali-Rohtang road. Locals had been warned against crossing avalanche-prone areas.

After widespread snowfall in the upper Kullu valley, for the second day, most of the long-route Manali-bound and local buses suspended their journey near Patlikul this morning. Today, only light vehicles could ply between Manali and Patlikulh.

Vehicular movement was disrupted on many link roads in the upper Kullu valley. Local buses remained suspended today on the Manali-Naggar-Kullu (left bank) road.

The PWD pressed snow-clearing machines and labourers into service.

Blanket of challenges

KULLU: Fresh snowfall and incessant rains over the past 72 hours in this district have crippled life and damaged property worth lakhs of rupees. The town today experienced up to 2 cm snowfall, while Manali experienced over 2 foot snow.

HRTC sources confirmed that buses were not plying beyond Bandrol due to heavy snow. Small four-wheel vehicles were plying on the route, helping tourists and others reach Kullu. The owners are said to be charging exorbitant fares.

The link roads of Banjar-Chhatri, Ani-Rohachala, Bhuntar-Manikaran-Barsheni, Bhuntar-Tocha, Kullu-Balihani, Kullu-Bijlimahadev, Kullu-Bhekhali and Kullu-Malana were blocked by snow and landslides.

While the snow is a boon for apple farmers, heavy snow has caused damage to apple trees in upper reaches of the valley, especially where the pruning is yet to be done.

Snow in McLeodganj, Naddi

DHARAMSALA: McLeodganj and Naddi, tourist spots near Dharamsala, received the first snowfall of the season today. Traffic movement to Naddi was paralysed beyond the Dal Lake due to heavy snow.

In McLeodganj, a handful of tourists and locals enjoyed the season's first snowfall in the area. Tourists were seen playing with snowballs and throwing these at one another. Some locals brought their snow-laden vehicles to lower areas.

20 buses stranded

CHAMBA: In the aftermath of yesterdays heavy snowfall on high-altitude areas of the district, several interior roads were covered with snow. As a result, about 10 buses of the HRTC were stranded at different places.

An HRTC spokesman said these buses were stranded in Langera, Sanghni, Himgiri, Khajjiar, Panela, Chhatrari and Holi areas.

Efforts were being made to facilitate the plying of buses on other routes, he added.

Other reports reaching here today said about 12 private buses, besides several other vehicles were stranded at different destinations in snow-covered areas of the district.

Meanwhile, Vikas Dutta, Manager, Deodar Hotel, Khajjiar, owned by the HPTDC, said 10 km of the road linking the Khajjiar hill resort had been blocked by heavy snow.

Forest Minister Thakur Singh Bharmouri has directed district officials to put their workforce into service on a war footing.

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Nagrota Bagwan gets engg college
Lalit Mohan
Tribune News Service

Nagrota Bagwan (Dharamsala), February 15
Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh today laid the foundation stone of Government Engineering College at Nagrota Bagwan, the Assembly constituency of GS Bali. This will be the third Government Engineering College in the state. The other two are in Sundernagar and Shimla districts.

He also laid the stone of a water-supply scheme worth Rs 11 crore for Nagrota Bagwan and four adjoining villages, along with a water-supply scheme for the Changer area that will come up at a cost of Rs 4.25 crore.

The CM also inaugurated a bridge (worth Rs 1.25 crore) that will connect Khawa with Kangra in the Nagrota Bagwan constituency.

Bali, by organising an impressive rally at the venue, displayed his political might in Kangra.

During the rally, youth raised slogans and demanded Congress ticket for Balis son Raghubir Singh Bali from the Kangra parliamentary constituency.

Bali junior has remained the vice-president of the state Youth Congress and has been trying for a Congress ticket from Kangra. However, the CM is favouring former MP Chander Kumar.

Sources said the state party unit had forwarded the names of both Chander Kumar and Raghubir Singh Bali to the parliamentary board of the Congress.

Virbhadra Singh, while addressing the rally, said most of the developmental projects in Kangra and Nagrota Bagwan had come up during the Congress rule. He said the Modi factor would not work in Himachal and the Congress would grab all parliamentary seats in the forthcoming elections.

The CM announced a Tehsil Welfare Office and IPH division at Nagrota Bagwan, a Primary Health Centre (PHC) at Gain, upgrading three schools at Thane, Atwas and Bal villages, along with science blocks at government schools in Thane, Baroh and Balu Galoa.

Bali, while speaking on the occasion, thanked the CM for allotting an engineering college for Nagrota. He said the present rally was planned to show the strength of the Congress ahead of Modis rally in Sujanpur. He said despite bad weather, thousands attended the rally.

IPH Minister Vidya Stokes and MLAs Pawan Kajal and Ajay Mahajan also participated in the rally.

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Govt trying to sabotage Modi rally: Dhumal
Lalit Mohan
Tribune News Service

Sujanpur (Hamirpur), February 15
BJP leaders, who have been busy making arrangements for the Sujanpur rally of partys prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, heaved a sigh of relief after the weather cleared a bit in the evening today.

Former Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal, state party in charge Balbir Punj and national president of Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha Anurag Thakur supervised the arrangements.

Dhumal, while addressing the media, accused the present Congress government in the state of trying to sabotage Modis rally.

He alleged that the present government had planned meetings of gram sabhas in the entire state, which coincided with the BJP rally. He said pradhans had been asked to meet the respective SDMs.

Punj said they had chosen the Sujanpur ground, the biggest in the state, as the venue for Modis rally in view of the sentiments of people. But keeping in view the motivation of party workers, even this ground might fall short, he added.

Dhumal also inaugurated the NaMo tea stall at the venue.

The stage was to get ready by this afternoon, but the preparations were stalled due to heavy rainfall.

Sources said the BJP had tried to motivate several ex-servicemen to attend the rally. They said Modi would lure them by touching their demands, especially the one-rank one-pension issue.

Gujarat police personnel also arrived to review security arrangements. About 1,000 police personnel had been deployed at the venue.

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Three youths killed as vehicle rolls into gorge
Tribune News Service

Nahan, February 15
Three persons were killed and six others injured when the Tata Sumo (HP-03A-B-0373) they were travelling in rolled into a 100-foot-deep gorge in the Kandabhatnol area of Shillai subdivision today.

The accident occurred when the vehicle, carrying a marriage party, skid off the road due to the presence of snow.

Matva Singh (25), hailing from Chakri Balikoti village, was killed on the spot, while Sanju (27) and Atma Ram (24) succumbed to their injuries on the way to hospital.

The injured, Neetu (27), Tikam (30), Shoorvir (36), Fakir Chand (28), Vinod Kumar (28) and Ajay Kumar (26), were referred to nearby hospitals. They hailed from Chakri Balikoti and Shirikyari villages.

SDM Shravan Manta extended an immediate relief of Rs 20,000 to kin of the deceased and Rs 15,000 to the seriously injured and Rs 10,000 to those who had received minor injuries.

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