Snowfall, torrential rains take Himachal by surprise


By: ML Verma

Shimla: High reaches of Himachal Pradesh experienced another spell of snowfall whereas downstream areas have been experiencing torrential rains since last 24 hours. Though the rains brought cheers for farmers brightening the prospects of Kharif crop, normal life was disrupted as a number of roads were either damaged or blocked. The Manali-Leh highway was again temporarily closed for vehicular traffic due to moderate spell of snowfall and landslides this morning, official sources confirmed.

Reports reaching here on behalf of district information officer, Lahaul Spiti, Shair Singh, said that Rohtang Pass and other lofty passes experienced 15 to 16 cm (half foot) fresh snowfall overnight. Keylong also recorded 8 cm snowfall. He said that vehicular traffic on Manali-Leh road has been suspended temporarily. Singh said that Jalam-Mandi HRTC bus could not ply up on the snowy road between Keylong and Rohtang and had to return back to Keylong.

BRO superintendent engineer SK Doon told HimVani that the road is likely to be opened soon after weather becomes conducive to run vehicles. He said that as Manali-Leh road has been official declared opened for light vehicles, now restoration of the road would not take much time.

Tourist resort Shimla, Kufri, Narkanda, Manali, Dharmshala, Kasauli are also having torrential rains, forcing the temperatures to fall sharply. Vehicular traffic on the cart road in Shimla was temporarily disrupted this noon as a huge tree came down on the road, snapping power supply lines passing near it.

Meanwhile, torrential rains registered in the entire state brighten the scope of good sowing of Kharif crop. The rain is also being termed good for ripening of apple and potato crop in the state, but it might damage the flowering of pea crop in tribal belt of the state.

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