The picturesque tourist towns of Manali and Dalhousie experienced more snow on Thursday. There are chances of more rain and snow in Himachal Pradesh till Friday, officials said.
“Manali and the hills overlooking it experienced mild to moderate snow. So is Dalhousie and Kalpa,” a Met official here told IANS.
Kalpa, some 250 km from here, recorded 14.1 cm snowfall, while it was 10cm in Dalhousie and two cm in Manali.
Kothi and Solang, near Manali, recorded a fair amount of snow also. Tourists from the plains have landed in Manali and Shimla.
Shimla residents shivered as icy winds brought down the minimum temperature to minus 1.1 degrees Celsius. Shimla was still recovering from Tuesday’s heaviest snowfall of the season.
“High-altitude areas of Lahaul and Spiti, Chamba, Mandi, Kullu, Kinnaur and Shimla districts have been experiencing intermittent snow since Tuesday,” the official added.
Peaks overlooking popular tourist sites like Shimla, Dharamsala and Palampur got more snow.
“We are hopeful of getting good number of tourists this weekend in Shimla and nearby areas after this snowfall,” D.P. Bhatia, liaison officer with Shimla-based Oberoi Group of hotels, told IANS.
Roads in the interiors though remained closed to traffic on the third day on Thursday, stranding commuters.
The Pathankot-Dalhousie road remained closed for vehicles, officials said. Even vehicular movement beyond Dhalli, 10 km from here, was suspended since a large stretch of the national highway was under a thick blanket of snow.
The Chandigarh-Manali national highway that was closed for vehicles near Patlikuhl, 20 km before Manali, was reopened though.
The entire Kinnaur district and towns in Shimla district such as Narkanda, Jubbal, Kotkhai, Kumarsain, Kharapathar, Rohru and Chopal have been cut off from the rest of the state, a government official told IANS.
“The road link to towns in upper Shimla is likely to be restored by Thursday evening,” he said.
Officials said the road network in the higher reaches of Kinnaur, Shimla, Chamba, Mandi, Kullu and Sirmaur districts was worst affected after Tuesday’s heavy snowfall and efforts were being made to reopen it.
Buses from Shimla town to Rampur were plying via Dhami.
The internal roads in the tourist resorts of Shimla and Manali were too slippery for traffic as these were laden with snow. Even walking in the streets was risky.
Although the Shimla Municipal Corporation has cleared the snow on Cart Road and some VIP roads, most of the other roads have not been cleared yet.
Tourists have been facing much difficulty in Shimla as most of the parking lots are slippery and covered with good quantity of snow.
Due to slippery condition of roads and pathways in Shimla, pedestrians, most of them tourists, were injured, police said.
As per the government, a total 690 roads were closed. Of these, 200 roads were cleared on Wednesday and the remaining would be reopened after Thursday.
The Public Works Department estimates a initial loss of Rs 51.92 crore to the roads.