Despite havoc, tourists throng Himachal to enjoy snowfall

SHIMLA: Despite paralyzed roads, power, water supply and
communication facilities, the glittering snow has continued attracting
thousands of tourists to Himachal Pradesh who are ready to pay any cost to
enjoy this precious gift from almighty.

These days this
is common view on roads of Himachal when tourists are pushing their cars that
have stuck in snow or couples walking on blocked roads to reach their
destinations with luggage in hands. Most of the hotels have no heating
arrangements and taxi drivers are charging huge fares. But the number of
tourists arriving in state is not decreasing despite very heavy snowfall since
Monday. Not only honeymooners, but hundreds of families and winter sports
lovers from plains are rushing to Shimla, Manali, Dalhousie and other tourist
resorts of the state. Very few are complaining of problems that they are facing
but others are enjoying cold and white nectar to the full extent.
Heavy snowfall in Himachal. Pic: Manali-Rohtang highway

“Closure of
roads and power failure is common on hill stations after heavy snowfall.
Contrary to complaining, we should understand the situation and enjoy the
weather,” a tourist from Noida, Manshu Ahuja, said, who himself had to walk to
reach his hotel in Manali on Wednesday. Another tourist from Chandigarh, Sumit
Kumar, who stuck in traffic jam for whole day to reach Manali, said, “We are
here to see snowfall and not the traffic jams. Authorities should arrange for
proper machineries to remove the snow fast and appropriately.”

According to
sources, in addition to over 700 tourist vehicles, including 30 Volvo and other
tourist buses, many private cars wearing non-Himachali registration number are
entering Shimla, Manali, Dalhousie and Dharamshala every day. However its off
season in Himachal, but constant arrival of tourists is keeping hoteliers’ chin
up.

Tourists from
neighbouring states of Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh and Delhi have thronged
Shimla to see the snowfall. Shimla has received 15cm snow since last 24 hours.
Snowfall continued on Wednesday and tourists congregated on the Ridge to enjoy
it. Tourists are enjoying snowfall in Dalhousie, but hoteliers in Khajjiar were
not happy as tourists are avoiding this beautiful place due to weak
infrastructure and chances of road blockade.

As according to
forecast, weather would be pleasant after Friday, hotel occupancy in Shimla,
Manali and Dalhousie is likely to increase by 10 to 20 per cent. “Even more tourists
from neighbouring states would throng Himachal after two days when weather
would be dry. We expect numbers of tourist to be double by the next week,” a
hotelier, Roop Singh Negi, said.

Meanwhile,
denying the reports by national TV channels and newspapers that dozens of ski
trainees have been stranded in Solang Valley near Manali, director of AtalBihari Vajpayee Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports, Randhir Singh
Salhuria, said all students are safe and having fun in fresh snow. “Parents of
these trainees are concerned about their children. Some irresponsible persons
have published these fake reports. Children are safe in their hostels at
Solang,” he added.

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The Himalayan

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