Bhanu P Lohumi
Tribune News Service
Shimla, November 16
Several areas in Manali, upper Shimla and Kinnaur districts were cut off and link roads closed as Sangla, Kufri, Narkanda, Kharaptthar and other higher hills received the first snowfall of the season.
Heavy rains lashed mid and lower hills breaking a two-month-long dry spell.
Key tourist destinations Sangla, Narkanda, Khadrala, Kharaptthar and Shillaru and Kufri, were covered under 25 cm, 20 cm, 19 cm, 18 cm,15 cm, 12 cm and 10 cm of snowfall.
Roads were closed at Khadrala and telecommunication services are snapped in Jubbal area.
Deputy Commissioner Shimla Aditya Negi said that JCBs and machinery have been deployed at vulnerable points and clearing of roads was underway.
The snow and rains brought cheers to farmers as the prolonged dry spell had affected sowing of Rabi crops, especially the maize, Cauliflower and cabbage crops and delay in rains could have spell doom.
The hoteliers are upbeat and hoping that early snowfall would attract tourists and kindle hops for the revival of an industry which suffered huge losses due to Covid 19 pandemic.
This was the season’s first snow that froze Manali, Kufri, Narkanda, Kala Top and Kharapathar.
The hills overlooking Manali also experienced moderate spells of snow, an official of the meteorological office here told IANS.
He said the picturesque Kalpa, some 250 km from here, too experienced snow.
“High-altitude areas of Lahaul and Spiti, Chamba, Mandi, Kullu and Kinnaur districts have been experiencing snow since Sunday,” he added.
“As news of the snowfall flashes across the plains, tourists will start arriving at Manali and the nearby hills — and in Kufri, just 15 km uphill from Shimla, and Narkanda”, say hoteliers.
The mountain peaks viewed from Shimla and the Dhauladhar peaks overlooking the Tibetan Buddhist leader Dalai Lama’s official palace in McLeodganj near Dharamsala were also covered by a white blanket.
The other hill destinations of Dharamsala, Nahan, Chamba, Dalhousie and Mandi got rains.
The Met Office said western disturbance — a storm system originating from the Mediterranean-Caspian Sea region and moving across the Afghanistan-Pakistan region — will start receding in the region from Tuesday.
— with IANS