Bhanu P Lohumi
Tribune News Service
Shimla, January 6
Normal life was thrown out of gear in several parts of the state as heavy snowfall in tribal areas and other upper reaches and widespread rains in middle and lower hills resulted in blockade of roads and disruption of power supply.
As many as 353 roads, including 168 in Lahaul and Spiti, 62 in Kinnaur, 55 in Chamba, 51 in Kullu, nine in Shimla and eight in Mandi district, are closed and 440 transformers are non-functional. Thick fog engulfed Shimla and other middle hills, reducing visibility to a few meters and disrupting vehicular traffic while strong icy winds swept the region. The tribal areas of Lahaul and Spiti, Kinnaur and Pangi and remote Dodra Kwar and Bara Bhangal and upper areas of Kullu and Shimla district were cut off due to snow while efforts were on to clear the roads.
Vehicular traffic has been restored on the Kufri-Fagu stretch while Shimla-Rampur and Shimla-Rohru roads were also opened after snow was removed at Narkanda and Kharapathar. Theog-Chopal road has also been cleared and adequate machinery and manpower has been deployed at vulnerable stretches to meet any eventuality, Shimla Deputy Commissioner Aditya Negi said. Kothi recorded 70 mm snow, followed by Hansa 31 cm, Manaki 22 cm, Gondola 20 cm, Khadrala 18 cm, Kalpa 17 cm, Kufri 15 cm, Moorang 13 cm, Pooh 12 cm and Keylong 9 cm and intermittent snowfall was continuing at many places, the local MeT station said.
As per the data released by the State Emergency Operations Centre (SCOE), Rakchham, Bara Bhangal and Rajgundha in Kangra and Chansel pass recorded 60 cm of fresh snow till this morning while Rohtang top and Sangla received 45 cm snow, followed by Triund, Multhan, Kalpa, Atal Tunnel, Jalori Jot, Parashar Lake, Dodra Kwar and Shikari Mata recording 30 cm snow, Gulaba 25 cm and Nako and Nichar 20 cm.
A large number of tourists rushed to adjoining tourist resorts of Kufri and Fagu to enjoy the snowfall.
Widespread showers lashed the state and Ghamroor was the wettest with 79 mm rain, followed by Amb 76 mm, Guler 63 mm, Palampur 61 mm, Bangana 60 mm, Kheri 59 mm, Nagrota Suriyan 58 mm, Sujanpur Tira 53 mm, Saloni and Una 51 mm each, Nadaun 50 mm, Dharmpur 49 mm, Nahan 48 mm, Naina Devi and Jogindernagar 46 mm, Pachhad and Sangrah 45 mm.
The local MeT office has issued yellow warning of heavy rain in lower and middle hills and heavy snowfall in higher hills on January 8 and heavy snowfall in higher hills on January 9. Day temperatures dropped at many places and Dalhousie was the coldest during the day with a high of 2.6°C while Keylong and Kufri recorded maximum temperature at 3.7°C.
Apple growers, farmers elated
- The apple growers and farmers are cheerful as snow is considered white manure for the apple crop and rain is beneficial for winter crops, already sown in most parts of the state.
- The low temperatures will provide the required chilling hours for the apple crop, said Ravi Chauhan, an apple grower.
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