Bhanu P Lohumi
Tribune News Service
Shimla, January 10
State capital Shimla and its adjoining areas received another spell of heavy snowfall on Monday, closing most of the roads in the city. The upper Shimla area was cut off and supply of essential commodities, such as bread, milk, and newspapers, was delayed.
Slippery roads following the snowfall led to the death of five persons while two sustained serious injuries in two separate accidents in the district. Five persons of a family, including two women and a child, were killed when their vehicle skidded off the road and fell into a gorge near Sarahan at Shangoli village in Kupvi area this evening. The family hailed from Naura Baura Panchayat of Kupvi. In another accident, a car fell into a gorge near Hasan valley between Dhalli and Kufri and two persons sustained injuries. Office-goers also had a tough time walking to their work places as it was difficult to drive on the snow-covered roads.
As many as 774 roads were blocked in the state, including 261 in Shimla, 170 in Lahaul and Spiti, 139 in Kullu, 85 in Chamba, 60 in Kinnaur, 51 in Mandi and eight in Sirmaur district while 2,360 transformers and 249 water supply schemes were disrupted.
A large number of tourists thronged the city, which received 30 cm of snow, and frequent traffic jams were witnessed on the Cart Road as several vehicles skidded off the roads. Earlier in the morning, bright sunshine greeted the residents, providing some relief from the biting cold.
The occupancy in hotels went up to 90 per cent and the tourists were advised to get advance booking done to avoid inconvenience and fleecing. The visitors made a beeline to the Ridge and The Mall Road to enjoy the snow.
Bharmour in Chamba and Khadrala in Shimla recorded 61 cm of snow while Kufri was covered under 50 cm of fresh snow. Kothi and Shillaroo received 45 cm snowfall each, Gondla 40 cm, Manali 39 cm, Janjehli 31 cm, Nichar 30 cm, Keylong 24 cm and Kalpa 23.2 cm.
Road clearance operations were in full swing and the ones leading to IGMC, DDU and KNH hospitals, besides Cart Road, were opened on priority in the morning. The other main roads were through for traffic by the afternoon, said Deputy Commissioner Aditya Negi.
Calcium chloride had been sprinkled on the IGMC and Richmond stretch as an experiment. Adequate machinery and manpower had been deployed at Kufri, Narkanda, Kharapathar, Khidki and other places covered under heavy snow to clear the roads, he added.
Vehicular traffic had not been fully restored as slippery roads had made driving risky. The police have advised commuters to avoid driving unless necessary as the roads were slippery.
Meanwhile, heavy rainfall lashed several parts of the state and Kandaghat received 80 mm, Dharampur and Solan recorded 73 mm and 71 mm of rain, followed by Pachhad 70 mm, Kasauli, Sangrah and Jubbarhatti 60 mm, Sundernagar and Bhuntar 50 mm, Nahan 47 mm and Mandi 43 mm.
Snow clearing on
- Roads leading to IGMC, DDU and KNH hospitals, besides Cart Road, opened on priority.
- Calcium chloride sprinkled on the IGMC road and Richmond stretch as an experiment to melt snow.
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