Cold wave tightens grip, night temperatures dip

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The cold wave further tightened its grip over most parts of the state as the night temperatures dipped and stayed 2-6 degrees Celsius below normal.

Overall, 429 roads, including four national highways, were still closed. As many as 299 roads were closed in Shimla zone, 76 in Kangra zone, 50 in Mandi zone. Officials said 273 machines, including 242 JCBs, eight dozers and 23 tippers, were pressed into service for clearing roads.

Sources in the PWD said 198 roads were expected to be opened while 165 would be opened by Friday night.

Narkanda, Khidki and Kharapathar roads have been opened but commuters have been advised to take precaution while travelling in slippery, shadow areas after evening, said Shimla Deputy Commissioner Amit Kashyap, adding that buses were plying to Rampur and Rohru.

High-altitude tribal areas and high mountain passes witnessed biting cold wave conditions as temperatures were 16-24 degrees Celsius below the freezing point. Keylong and Kalpa in the tribal Lahaul and Spiti and Kinnaur districts recorded minimum temperatures of -15.1 and -9.7 degrees Celcius.

Key tourist resorts of Manali and Kufri recorded the minimum temperatures at -5.4 and -5 degrees Celcius, followed by Dalhousie at -1.9, Shimla at -0.4, Solan at 1, Bhuntar 1.3, Palampur 1.5, Dharamsala 2 and Sundernagar 2.1 degrees Celsius.

Thick ground frost was witnessed at many places, water pipes froze and burst at many places in Shimla and upper Shimla region. Kasauli, Kalpa and Khadrala received 3 cm of fresh snow.

Scattered rains occurred in mid and lower hills. Bhoranj was the wettest with 26-mm rains, followed by Baldwara 23 mm, Sangrah and Bilaspur 8 mm and Sujanpur Tira 6-mm rain.

The region had a dry day but sky remained partially overcast and icy winds swept the region. The local meteorological office has predicted rains or snow in higher hills on January 31 and February 4 and dry weather in the state over the next six days from Friday.

Status of roads in Shimla district

  1. Shimla (Urban) – All main and link roads open
  2. Shimla (Rural) – Two link roads closed
  3. Theog – Four link roads blocked
  4. Chopal – 27 links roads closed
  5. Rohru – 72 link roads closed
  6. Rampur – 12 links roads blocked
  7. Kumarsain – 12 link roads blocked
  8. Dodra Kawar – Rohru to Dodra Kwar road blocked, besides four link roads

Source : The Tribune