Shimla (Jan 8): Snowfall as far off as Chintpurni and even areas across the Himachal border in Punjab almost gave an eerie beginning to 2012, a year deemed doomed in many-a-premonition. Old-timers having memory old enough to have remembered such a previous event claimed it was at least six decades ago that the lower Shivalik hills wore a white mantle. While environmentalists were at unease explaining near-apocryphal change of weather, locals-turned-revelers, though concerned, seized the moment to its utmost.
Heavy rain and snowfall paralyzed normal life as roads, telephones, power and Water supply remained disrupted at most parts of state, forcing people to brave intense cold wave with mercury keeping several degree below normal. Manali registered about 40 cm snowfall recorded 15 cm fresh snow overnight keeping mercury low at minus 1.6 degree Celsius, Similarly, Shimla also experienced 13.3 fresh snowfall and Kalpa in Kinnaur district received 9 cm snowfall, the Met office told HimVani.
Kufri, Naldehra, Mashobra, Narkanda and Fagu remained cut off as the road linking these places had more than one feet thick snowfall. Heavy snowfall was also occurred in the apple growing areas, besides other prominent tourist stations like Dharamshala, Palampur, Chamba and Dalhousie.