Cold is not biting in Himachal this winter
MANALI/SHIMLA: Peak winter months of Himachal — December and
January — have passed but neither the water taps were found frozen nor did the
residents feel the biting cold as it used to be earlier. For many, this is one
of the pleasant winters they have ever had.
Tourists enjoy skiing after fresh snowfall in Solang near Manali
Unlike previous
years, water sources are not freezing in Manali, Shimla, Dalhousie and other
hill stations perched in mid-hills of Himachal. The average minimum temperature
this year is 3 to 5 degrees Celsius more than that in last year. Accept for few
days of December when water taps in Manali and Shimla were found frozen, cold
could not put its much impact on the normal living. Water sources in cold
deserts of Lahaul-Spiti district, parts of Chamba and Kinnaur are still
freezing with cold. Even in Lahaul-Spiti, the coldest district of Himachal,
river Chenab didn’t see a thick walk-able layer of ice which was normal sight
every winter.
“Icicles hanging
from the roof every morning are missing this year. Except for few days of
December, we didn’t bother to pour hot water on frozen tap to get the water,” says
Mohan Lal Thakur, an octogenarian, who feels real winter was missing this year.
“My children were sharing with me that we have saved a lot of fuel wood this
year as there was no need of fire all the time.”
Shimla had
minimum temperature in positive numbers for most of the days while minimum
temperature in Manali could not touch minus 5 degrees Celsius mark. The worse
thing is that new green grass is covering the orchards and fields of the state
which is not usual for this time of the season. While Manali saw only one good
spell of snow so far, Shimla saw three spells of snowfall.
Lal Chand
Sharma, a Manali resident, said he has observed that the morning frost is also
missing from the region. “A very thin layer of frost can be seen on the cars
and roofs. Otherwise a thick layer of ice used to cover roads, pathways, grass,
plants and everything,” he adds.
Though less cold
could prove disastrous for apple orchards which needs freezing cold for good
harvest, but hoteliers claim that this is merry time for tourists who are
enjoying the slight cold. A hotelier here complained that tourists are still
maintaining a distance from Manali with fear of getting stranded in heavy
snowfall.

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The Himalayan

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