Ending almost a 40-day dry-spell, Shimla Tuesday experienced this year’s first heavy snowfall. Several other key tourists destinations like Kufri, Narkanda, Naldehra and Fagu, beside other famous places like Kullu-Manali, Rohtang Pass, Dalhousie, McLeodganj and all higher reaches experienced moderate to heavy snowfall. The apple-belt of Shimla including Kathapathar, Jubbal-Kotkhai, Chopal, Thanedar and other apple-rich pockets also witnessed snowfall, bringing some cheer to fruit growers.
Lower region in Himachal Pradesh was also lashed by showers that brought smiles on the faces of the farmers facing drought-like situation. The meteorological department had predicted change in the weather conditions on Tuesday with rains in most of the areas and mild snow in higher reaches. The Met office recorded 0.5 cm snowfall till 5.30 pm however it is about 7 to 8 cm in high elevated areas like Mall road and 10cm on Mount Jakhu.
Initially, it was Kufri and other higher reaches, which was receiving mild snowfall, eluding Shimla. But, by Tuesday evening Shimla looked fascinating with Jakhu hill, the Mall road, Ridge completely wrapped under snow. Though, the whole atmosphere was picturesque, however, several roads in the town were blocked and vehicular movement were severely affected. However, the hoteliers were not complaining as suddenly they were flooded with inquiries for booking . “Snow has definitely give us hope to begin the year with good business, as this was the first snowfall. Once, the season picks-up, the hotel industry will gain,” said Vijay Sharma, general Manager HPTDC .
All the bus services, which are scheduled on the Shimla-Theog-Rampur and Kinnuar highway were diverted via Basantpur today. However, vehicular traffic in Shimla’s Cart Road continued. Fresh report stated that there Narkanda received about 15 cm snowfall, while Kufri, Fagu and Jakhu Hill received 10 cm respectively.
Deputy Commissioner Shimla Amit Kashyap, said, “My team is keeping a close eye on the situation. The electricity supply was normal and road leading to IGMC and other hospitals are open. The PWD and Municipal Corporation teams are on the job to meet any situation if snowfall continues. We won’t let any basic services to be disrupted. The tourists are advised to bring only trained drivers and carry woolen clothes”.