Rain, snow intensify cold in state

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Intermittent rain followed by mild snowfall lashed state capital Shimla today while the key tourist resort of Kufri witnessed another spell of snowfall, bringing cheer to tourists.

The higher reaches and tribal areas reeled under biting cold conditions following snowfall. Bharmaur received 5 cm of snow, followed by Kalpa, Gondola, Kufri and Keylong 3 cm each, Shimla 2.5 cm and Udaipur 1 cm.

As many as 75 roads, including 15 in Shimla zone, 45 in Mandi zone and 10 in Kangra zone, are closed due to the prevailing bad weather conditions. While 25 roads are expected to be opened tonight, 32 roads will be opened tomorrow. In total, 72 machines (JCB, dozer and tippers) have been pressed into service to open the roads.

The HRTC bus services have been affected on 78 routes in Shimla, six buses are stuck on the roads and the corporation has stopped night services for the time being.

However, all roads in the Shimla urban area were open for vehicular traffic and sand had been thrown on roads to avoid any untoward incident, said Amit Kashyap, Deputy Commissioner.

He said that snow-clearing operations were going on a war footing on Dhalli-Kufri, Kufri-Chail, Mashobra-Bhekalti, Shimla-Theog roads, which are blocked due to snowfall. An adequate number of JCB machines had been deployed to resume traffic as soon as possible.

“The snow-clearing operations are also going on at Narkanda, Khadapathar, Tikkar, Khadrala, Sungri and Chopal areas and heavy machinery has been deployed there,” he said. HRTC buses were not plying in snowbound Upper Shimla areas but were running to Rampur via Basantpur.

The local MeT office has warned of thunderstorms accompanied by hail and lightning at isolated places in lower hills and heavy rainfall and snowfall at isolated places in mid and high hills tomorrow. It has also forecast a wet spell in mid and high hills till January 12, barring January 10.

Manali received 8 mm of rainfall, followed by Shimla 6.6 mm, Dharamsala 6 mm, Bhuntar 5.4 mm, Kangra, Srahan, Thanaplan and Mandi 4 mm each, Sundernagar and Jawali 3 mm, and Una and Dalhousie 2 mm each.

There was no significant change in the minimum temperatures and Keylong in tribal Lahaul and Spiti district recorded a low of minus 9°C, followed by Kalpa minus 2.2°C, Manali -0.4°C, Shimla 0.8°C and Dharamsala 3.8°C.

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