Tourists stranded in Himachal resort, snowfall for third day
Feb 13, 2007 - 4:24:32 PM
Shimla, Feb 13 - Around 80 tourists, including women, were stranded Tuesday in a tourist resort near here following heavy snowfall in many parts of Himachal Pradesh for the third straight day that blocked roads and paralysed normal life.
The tourists were stuck at Tushali, a wooded resort 8,000 ft above sea level and some 25 km from here, which was under 70 cm of snow.
'The tourists are safe and comfortably housed in their hotel,' said Tarun Kapoor, Shimla district magistrate.
The tourists had trekked there late Monday from Chail. They telephoned the authorities for help after the place got snowbound.
'We have sent a team of doctors as well as food supplies on foot from Junga. We have started clearing the snow from the road at the Chail and Kufri resorts to open Tushali for traffic,' said Kapoor.
Meanwhile, fresh snow began to fall in Shimla and other areas of the state Tuesday, intensifying the cold spell. One person died of the intense cold in Tutu area of Shimla while several people were injured after slipping on the snow.
In Shimla, the mercury Monday fell to a minimum of -1 degrees Celsius, while the maximum crept up to 6.5 degrees with brief spells of sunshine.
The prices of vegetables, fruits and other essentials have registered a sharp rise in the hill station.
Even though the layer of snow over the town was melting fast, most people preferred to remain huddled indoors. However, tourists in large numbers were seen thronging the town with the Kalka-Shimla road open to vehicular traffic.
The high altitude Hindustan Tibet road beyond Shimla continued to be blocked for the fifth day due to over 100 cm snowfall recorded in the resorts of Kufri and Narkanda, where fresh snow occurred Tuesday.
Most of the roads in Shimla, Kinnaur and Sirmaur districts continued to remain blocked for traffic with hundreds of vehicles, including state-run buses, stuck in the deep snow. Fresh snowfall has been reported from Manali, Dalhousie and Chail resorts too.
The high mountain regions in the tribal belt of Lahaul, Spiti, Kinnaur, Pangi and Dodra Kwar had another fresh spell of snowfall, creating near arctic conditions as the mercury dropped to below -20 degrees Celsius in several places.
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