Shimla, Manali cut off after snow
Tourist destinations Shimla and Manali Sunday were cut off from the rest of the state after receiving snowfall, throwing life out of gear due to road blockages and disruption of essential services.
Traffic bound for Shimla was disrupted at Shogi, about 15 km from Shimla on the Chandigarh-Shimla NH 22, owing to snow and frost, an official told IANS.
He said the traffic movement beyond Dhalli, 10 km from here, also remained suspended on the second day as a large stretch of the road was under a thick blanket of snow.
Also, connectivity on the Kullu-Manali NH 21 remained snapped on the second day near Patlikuhl, some 20 km before Manali.
Supply of milk, newspaper and essential commodities were worst affected in both Shimla and Manali.
"Work is on to restore road connectivity in Shimla," Deputy Commissioner Dinesh Malhotra told IANS.
The snowfall froze the "Queen of Hills", as Shimla was fondly called by the British.
The cold weather resulted in the freezing of taps also in posh residential areas in Shimla such as the US Club and the Jakhu hills. The snowfall has brought down the minimum temperature to minus 2.4 degrees Celsius.
Kalpa in Kinnaur district, which saw 13.8 cm snow, recorded a low of minus 8.8 degrees Celsius. The temperature was minus six degrees Celsius in Manali with a snow of more than two feet, while it was 5.8 degrees in Dharamsala.
A spokesperson said no state-run bus has been plying in upper Shimla since Saturday as a large number of vehicles were stuck in snow between Kufri and Narkanda.
He advised tourists not to venture into remote areas of the state, especially from Nehru Kund to Palchan near Manali, as chances of snow avalanche were high over the next few days.
The weather forecast said Western Disturbances - storm systems originating from Caspian Sea in the Central Asia and moving across the Afghanistan-Pakistan region - has almost receded from the region and the weather would mainly remain dry in the next few days.
(Posted on 16-02-2014)