Bhanu P Lohumi
Shimla, January 11
The piercing cold wave sweeping most parts of Himachal continued unabated today even as the region got relief from rain and snowfall. The sky remained overcast and icy winds lashed Shimla and other mid and higher hills.
The high altitude tribal areas reeled under biting cold with the mercury staying 12 to 20 degrees below the freezing point. The temperature dropped by a few notches and Keylong in Lahaul and Spiti district experienced the coldest night of the season at minus 15.4°C.
As many as 495 roads (167 in Lahaul and Spiti, 133 in Shimla, 69 in Kullu, 37 in Mandi, 29 in Kinnaur, three in Sirmaur and two in Solan) remained closed, and 974 transformers were out of order while 177 water supply schemes were badly affected.
Meanwhile, snowfall occurred at isolated places. Kalpa recorded 14 cm of snow, followed by Sangla 7 cm, Pooh 6 cm, Morang 5 cm, Gondla 4 cm and Manali 2 cm. Kalpa in Kinnaur district recorded a low of minus 8°C, Manali minus 3.8°C, Kufri minus 3°C, Solan 0.8°C, Sundernagar 1.7°C, Palampur 2°C and Shimla 2.2°C.
Thick ground frost occurred at most places in mid and higher hills, causing slippery conditions. Complaints of erratic power and water supply were received from remote and interior areas of Shimla district. Thick fog engulfed the town along river banks and reservoirs in lower hills during morning hours, disrupting vehicular traffic. The MeT office has predicted a dry weather in the region
for next four days and foggy conditions to continue for two more days.
“All efforts are being made to normalise the situation and restoration work is being done on a war footing. Traffic has been restored on the Shimla-Rampur and Shimla-Rohru roads and private buses are plying on the upper Shimla routes,” said Aditya Negi, Deputy Commissioner.
“A majority of roads have been opened in the city but commuters are advised to be cautious while driving,” the DC added.