Bhanu P Lohumi
Tribune News Service
Shimla, January 9
Most areas in higher and middle hills experienced another spell of moderate snowfall today. Normal life was crippled during the morning hours in Shimla as slippery conditions made driving hazardous and supply of essential commodities to the upper region of the city was delayed.
As many as 557 roads were blocked, including 209 in Shimla, 181 in Lahaul and Spiti, 46 in Chamba, 42 in Mandi, 38 in Kinnaur, 31 in Kullu and 10 in Sirmaur district. Also, operation of 1,757 transformers and 124 water supply schemes was disrupted.
The residents of Shimla woke up to a fascinating view of snow and elated tourists thronged to The Ridge and Mall Road to enjoy. They were seen playing with snow balls and clicking photographs. The occupancy in hotels went up to about 80 per cent. However, hoteliers beyond Victory Tunnel rued that business was hit as the traffic was diverted from Tutikandi on the bypass road.
All main roads in the Shimla town have been cleared for traffic, besides Shimla-Rohru and Shimla-Rampur roads and Kufri-Fagu stretch, said Deputy Commissioner Aditya Negi, who supervised road clearing operations at several stretches.
The work was in full swing and efforts were afoot to open all roads but slippery conditions prevailed due to intermittent snowfall and commuters were advised to avoid travelling at night unless necessary, he added.
Kharapathar police rescued Covid-19 sampling teams, besides others, from Pattidhank after a distress call was received on emergency number 112 this afternoon that some vehicles were stranded due to heavy snowfall. Some tourists were also rescued from the Kalyani Helipad.
Khadrala and Kufri received 58 cm of snow, Shillaroo 42 cm, Dalhousie 30 cm, Sangla 28 cm, Kalpa 27 cm, Kothi 20 cm, Chopal, Shimla, Hansa and Bharmaur 15 cm each and Manali 14 cm. The local MeT office has predicted rain and snow at few and isolated places in middle and higher hills on January 10 and 11 and dry weather from January 12 onwards.
Naina Devi was the wettest with 58 mm rainfall, followed by Rajgarh 52 mm, Chamba 49 mm, Berthin 46 mm, Dharamsala and Sangrah 45 mm each, Gaggal and Nadaun 44 mm each, Renuka and Solan 43 mm each, Nahan and Una 42 mm each. Keylong was the coldest at night with a minimum temperature of -5°C while Una recorded a maximum temperature at 13.6°C.
Covid team rescued
- As many as 1,757 transformers and 124 water supply schemes out of order
- Met department predicts rain and snowfall in middle and higher hills on Jan 10 & 11
- Supply of essential products to upper Shimla region delayed, Covid sampling team rescued from Pattidhank