Commuters beware as snow and rain blocks more than 700 roads in Himachal Pradesh
After a bone-chilling spat of dry winter, Himachal Pradesh witnessed a much-awaited bout of fresh snowfall these past few days-
After a bone-chilling dry winter, Himachal Pradesh witnessed a much-awaited bout of fresh snowfall and rain these past few days. But the snowfall and rain brought along with it it’s own challenges. As many as 720 roads, including four national highways, in Himachal Pradesh are blocked following snow while 2,243 transformers are disrupted. Along with this, many part of Himachal were left without electricity. The maximum of 250 roads are closed in Shimla district, followed by 163 in Chamba, 139 in Lahaul and Spiti, 67 in Kullu, 54 in Mandi and 46 in Kinnaur district, according to the data shared by the state emergency operation centre. The weather department predicts more snow and rain from February 3-5.
Roads blocked in Himachal:
The vehicular traffic to upper Shimla areas was halted at several places due to closure of roads leading to Rohru, Chopal, Narkanda, Khadrala and other places. 85 roads were blocked in the Theog sub-division and 48 in Rohru sub-division of Shimla district. 42 roads each remained block in the tribal Bharmour and Pangi sub-divisions of the Chamba district. The Bairgarh-Killar Road is expected to stay blocked until summer due to heavy snowfall.
86 roads are blocked in the Lahaul sub-division while 48 are blocked in the Udaipur sub-division in the Lahaul Spiti district. The Manali to Atal Tunnel Road, Manali to Rohtang Pass, Manalit to Jalori Jot, Darcha to Sarchu and Gramphu to Losar highway also remained out of bounds due to heavy snowfall on Wednesday and Thursday.
The highest 707 DTRs were non-functional in Chamba with Tissa, Salooni and Bharour sub-divisions being the worst hit. As many as 574 DTRs were disrupted in Manali, 593 in Shimla, 356 in Kullu and 83 in Kinnaur.
Snowfall and widespread rain caused sharp fall in minimum temperatures and residents in high-altitude tribal areas shivered under piercing cold wave conditions with the mercury staying 14-18 degrees Celsius below the freezing point. Machinery from low areas was shifted to snow-bound areas in a proactive move and the roads were cleared by sprinkling calcium chloride, public works department minister Vikramaditya Singh told reporters on Friday. Calcium chloride, a crystalline white colour ionic salt, made up of calcium and chlorine melts snow with immediate contact. The process is economical as the cost per kilometer is Rs 500 on a single lane.
While snowfall is important for drinking and irrigation schemes, agriculturists and horticulturists and tourism but best efforts would be put in to ensure that the roads are cleared, Singh said, adding that Rs 72 crore was released for the repair of roads on Thursday. In the past 24 hours till 8 am, Triund received 75 cm of fresh snow while Narkanda and Shikari Devi were wrapped under 60-cm thick blanket of snow, followed by 45 cm each in Kamrunag and Chansel, 42.6cm in Shilaroo, 35 cm in Kothi and Khadrala, 30 cm each in Pangi, Jot, Bara Bhangal, Bir- Billing,Kapla, Parashar lake,Kufri and Khara-Patthar and Kufri, the weather bulletin showed.