Season?s 1st snow at Kufri, Narkanda

Bhanu P Lohumi

Tribune News Service

Shimla, December 6

The tourist resorts of Kufri and Narkanda received the first spell of mild snowfall today while the state capital Shimla and its surrounding areas were lashed by thunderstorm, sleet and intermittent rain. As many as 136 roads, including 127 in Lahaul and Spiti, six in Mandi and one each in Chamba, Kullu and Kinnaur, were closed for traffic following the snowfall.

Tourists at The Ridge.PTI

The mild snowfall in Kufri and Chharabra have made the road slippery and the Shimla police have advised the commuters to be cautious while driving on this patch and avoid travelling at night. They can dial 112 or 8894728016 (Dhalli SHO) in case they need any assistance.

Hoteliers upbeat

The weekend occupancy in hotels, which was about 75 per cent, dropped to 25 per cent on Monday but the hoteliers are upbeat as the tourist inflow is expected to increase after snowfall. — MK Seth, President, Tourism industry stakeholders association

Rohtang pass and the Atal Tunnel recorded heavy snowfall of 75 cm and 45 cm, respectively, while Koksar, Darcha and Keylong in Lahaul and Spiti recorded 45 cm, 30 cm and 20 cm of fresh snow, disrupting normal life in the region. Tourist destinations of Chitkul, Sangla and Kalpa in Kinnaur district received 15.5 cm, 7.6 cm and 6.0 cm of snow, respectively, while the remote Dodra Kwar and Chopal received 30 cm and 6 cm of snow, respectively.

Kufri, Narkanda, Rohru and Khara Pathar received light snowfall, creating cold wave conditions in the region. The sky remained heavily overcast in Shimla and its surrounding areas and foggy conditions prevailed, reducing visibility and disrupting normal traffic.

Deputy Commissioner, Shimla, Aditya Negi said 99 per cent of the roads were open for vehicular traffic in the district. Machines, JCBs and other equipment have been deployed on the vulnerable stretches.

The weekend occupancy, which was about 75 per cent, had dropped to 25 per cent on Monday but the hoteliers are upbeat as the tourist inflow is expected to increase after snowfall, said Tourism Industry Stakeholders Association president MK Seth.

The tourists were elated to witness sleet. "We planned a trip to Shimla after seeing the weather forecast of snow and will travel to Narkanda tomorrow, hoping to enjoy the snow," said a newly wed couple Smriti and Akarshan.

Widespread rain occurred across the state and Manali was the wettest with 29-mm rain while Mandi and Chamba received 23 mm, followed by Salooni 22 mm, Tinder 21 mm, Baldwara 19 mm, Jubbar-Hatti, Banjar and Jogindernagar 18 mm, Palampur 17 mm, Seobagh 16 mm, Bhuntar 14 mm, Chopal, Bajura and Nichar 13 mm, Palampur 12 mm, Sundernagar, Ghumarwin and Paonta Sahib 11 mm and Kotkhai, Bhoranj and Pandoh 10 mm and Shimla 9 mm.

Minimum temperatures decreased by two or three degrees C and stayed close to normal. The local MeT office has predicted rain or snow at isolated place in mid and higher hills on December 8 and 9 and dry weather in the region tomorrow. A fresh Western Disturbance is likely to affect Western Himalayan Region from December 8.

Courtesy: Tribune News Service

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