Snow forecast ups footfall, hotel occupancy in Shimla


Shimla : Foreign and domestic tourists continued to throng the state capital on Sunday. Behind the huge footfall is the snow forecast for Monday, which has upped occupancy in hotels at Shimla, Kufri, Narkanda, Theog and Fagu. Most visitors are looking forward to celebrating Lohri in the hills.

Not only tourists, but farmers too are elated as Kalpa in Kinnaur received over 13 cm of snow and Manali 2 cm.

But with joy comes misery. Upper Shimla remained without public transport for the fifth day today.

The Shimla-Narkanda-Rampur-Kinnaur national highway was thrown open for tourists today, said Shimla Deputy Commissioner Amit Kashyap. With the Shimla-Theog and Theog-Chopal roads being restored, residents were able to get essential commodities.

“The PWD should deploy machinery at key locations so that the roads are restored soon after the snowfall,” the DC said. Water shortage is another problem plaguing the city. The SMC pumped over 43 MLD of water in the city today. “The supply will improve as the weather conditions are not that bad now,” said SJPNL managers.

“Most water pipes and roads in the shady and northern face of the city, which were frozen, have been restored,” said Municipal Commissioner Pankaj Rai. On the huge tourist influx, Sanjay Sood, president, Shimla Hotel and Restaurant Association, said the occupancy in hotels was over 80 per cent. “The rush will continue as more snow is predicted for tomorrow and January 16,”, he added. Former Shimla Mayor Sanjay Chauhan slammed the district administration and the SMC for not restoring the public transport, power, water in the city even after three days.