Heavy snowfall has led to the closure of 14 roads, including two national highways, in Himachal Pradesh. The higher reaches of the state have received fresh snowfall during the past 24 hours, while light to moderate rainfall with thunderstorms is expected to continue in several districts, including Solan, Shimla, Sirmaur, Mandi, Kangra, Bilaspur, Una, and Hamirpur, with the possibility of hail in some areas.
Despite the difficulties faced by people travelling on the closed roads, the snowfall has provided mesmerising views and a delightful sight for those willing to brave the conditions. However, five tourists from Delhi were trapped in heavy snowfall in Lahaul and Spiti, but were later rescued. More than 500 vehicles that were stranded between Atal Tunnel, Rohtang, and Dhundi in Himachal Pradesh have also been moved to safer places after starting to skid on the road on Monday. The Kullu district police supervised the rescue operation on Monday night as temperatures dropped significantly.
In light of the heavy snowfall, commuters have been advised not to apply brakes and to move at a snail’s pace in first gear to avoid skidding. An official revealed that the closed roads include stretches between the North portal of Atal Tunnel to Darcha, Darcha to Shinkula to Zanskar, Koksar to Losar, and Tandi to Kadhu Nullah. Six of the 14 closed roads are located in Lahaul and Spiti district, four are in Kullu, and the rest are in other parts of the state, according to the emergency operation centre.
The heavy snowfall and associated weather conditions have caused significant disruptions to daily life and travel in the affected areas. The closure of the national highways has resulted in major transportation disruptions, affecting businesses and local residents alike. In addition, the snowfall has caused damage to infrastructure, including power lines and communication systems.
The state government has deployed personnel from the police, disaster management, and public works departments to tackle the situation. Snow clearing operations are underway on the closed roads to restore normalcy, while officials have advised people to take necessary precautions and avoid travelling unless absolutely necessary.
This is not the first time that heavy snowfall has caused disruptions in Himachal Pradesh. The state is prone to heavy snowfall during the winter months, and local authorities are well-equipped to handle such situations. However, the current situation has highlighted the need for improved infrastructure and preparedness measures to deal with extreme weather events.
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