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Jan 19, 2013, 06.07 PM IST | Source: PTI

Snowfall cripples normal life in HP, traffic disrupted

Snowfall cripples normal life in HP, traffic disrupted

Shimla, Jan 19 (PTI) Several parts of Himachal Pradesh were cut off due to heavy snowfall while erratic power supply made life miserable for shivering residents of capital Shimla. Key tourist resort of Manali, Narkanda and Sangla were also cut off and traffic on Hindustan-Tibet and Kiratpur-Manali National Highways was halted beyond Shimla and Kullu respectively. No bus has left or arrived at Shimla bus stand after 6pm yesterday as the roads were blocked due to heavy snowfall while partial traffic to Shimla and Manali was restored in the afternoon. The supply of essential items like milk, vegetable, bread and newspapers reached late in Shimla while some areas remained without these for the second day today. Several trees were uprooted in Shimla town disrupting power supply and several areas including CM's official residence and State secretariat remained without power for several hours. The HPSEB men were working round the clock to restore power but normal supply in entire town would be possible only by tomorrow, officials said. Shimla received 100 cm of snow during past three days which was the heaviest since 2007. Trees, rooftops, houses and roads were covered under thick blanket of snow presenting a fascinating look while the 5-Km road between Kufri and Fagu looked like a white lake. The Public Works Department (PWD) men were deployed on snow clearing on main roads while Link roads were buried under heavy snow. The sprawling Dhauladhar ranges in Kangra, donning an impeccable mantle of white snow gave a dazzling look as the morning Sun rays fell on snow-clad pinnacles. Kalpa in tribal Kinnaur shivered under arctic conditions as minimum and maximum temperatures dipped to minus 7.8 degree and minus 0.7 degree Celsius after 50 cm of fresh snowfall. Shimla and Manali recorded maximum and minimum temperature at 3.0 degree and 0.7 degree and 1.5 degree and 1.5 degree respectively, three and six degrees below normal. Manali recorded 36 cm of fresh snow while Saluni experienced 17 cm snow, followed by Keylong 11 cm and Seobagh 3 cm. The lower areas and foothills were lashed by intermittent heavy rains with Renuka and Paonta Sahib in Sirmaur district recording 70 mm and 66 mm rains. The minimum and maximum temperatures dropped by few notches across the state with Solan, Palampur, Bhuntar, Saluni and Narkanda shivering under sub zero temperature. The night temperature dipped 11 degree below normal at Bhuntar and Saluni. The high altitude tribal areas reeled under piercing cold wave conditions with mercury staying between minus 15 and minus 23 degree C and people have been advised to stay indoors in Lahaul and Spiti in view of avalanche threat looming large in high reaches. The snowfall has brought cheers to skiers who are making beeline to Kufri, Hatu Peak and Solang Nallah. PTI PCL RCJ

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