Bhanu P Lohumi
Tribune News Service
Shimla, January 8
Shimla city received the first snowfall of the year today, while its upper areas were covered under a thin layer of snow. Tourists and residents woke up to white surroundings in the morning, but a drizzle in the lower areas of the city washed away snow deposits.
Shimla recorded 15 cm of snow while another key tourist resort of Kufri received 7 cm of snow. A large number of tourists made a beeline for Kufri and the Jakhu temple to enjoy snowfall. “We are delighted to see snow Saturday morning. We have planned a trip to Kufri to enjoy snow there as well,” said Harpal, a tourist from Gurugram.
Hotel occupancy goes up
- 350 roads blocked, 680 transformers disrupted across state
- Occupancy rate in hotels increases from 60% to 85%
- Yellow warning of heavy rain in mid and high hills tomorrow
- In case of emergency, call 112 and 0177-2812344
Gondla received 30 cm of snow, Koksar 17 cm, Keylong 10 cm, Hansa 7 cm and Shillaro 5 cm. The local Met office issued a yellow warning of heavy rain in mid and high hills tomorrow and predicted a wet weather in the region till January 12.
Meanwhile, 350 roads were blocked in the state (177 in Lahaul and Spiti, 59 in Kinnaur, 44 in Chamba, 38 in Shimla, 19 in Mandi and 13 in Kullu district). About 680 transformers and 81 water schemes were disrupted due to snowfall.
“The Theog-Chopal road is closed near Khidki while the Shimla-Rampur and Shimla-Rohru roads have been opened for traffic. As the roads are slippery due to snow, only emergency vehicles are allowed during night,” said Aditya Negi, Deputy Commissioner, Shimla. He added that all roads leading to hospitals in Shimla city were cleared on priority and opened for vehicular movement.
Meanwhile, the Shimla administration and the police have advised commuters to be cautious while driving, travel with experienced drivers in snow-bound areas and call 112 and 0177-2812344 in case of an emergency.
Apple growers are delighted as snow is considered white manure for their crop. Hoteliers are also happy as snowfall will increase tourist footfall in the coming week. “Due to restrictions in the neighbouring states following a spurt in Covid cases there, the footfall in Shimla was 60 per cent on Friday and it increased to about 80 per cent to 85 per cent after snowfall,” said MK Seth, president of the Tourism Industry Stakeholders Association.
Light to moderate rain lashed several parts of the state. Dalhousie was wettest with 66 mm of rain, followed by Kheri 47 mm, Nahan 45 mm, Pachhad 39 mm, Una 37 mm, Naina Devi 32 mm, Rajgarh 31 mm, Kasauli and Renuka 30 mm each, Ghamroor 29 mm, Chamba and Solan 27 mm each, Kahu and Jatton Barrage 25 mm each, Jubbar Hatti 23 mm and Kandaghat 21 mm.
Keylong in Lahaul and Spiti district was the coldest at minus 5.1°C, followed by Kalpa and Kufri minus 2°C, Kufri and Shimla 0.2°C.