MANALI: Moderate snowfall in Lahaul and heavy snowfall on Rohtang pass and surrounding peaks has triggered cold waves in Kullu and Lahaul-Spiti while hailstorm lashed some parts of Kullu district.
Snowfall is a setback for hundreds of tribals from snowbound Lahaul valley who are planning to cross Rohtang on foot. The fresh white powder has given rise to dangerous situations. On the other hand, plum growers of the district, who were happy to see bumper flowering on trees, are upset with the inclement weather conditions. Hailstorms were reported from several areas. Rainfall and drop in temperature has destroyed butterflies, bees and insects which are necessary for pollination of the flowers.
Fresh snowfall near Manali
1cm to 5cm fresh snowfall was reported from Keylong, Darcha, Koksar and Sissu villages of Lahaul. Rohtang pass recorded 15cm fresh snowfall. Fresh blanket of snow was noticed up to Gulaba near Manali. A fresh wave of cold was triggered by the snowfall. People in Manali have again wrapped themselves inside the woollens.
Said a resident Manish Walia, “I had to bring back the room heater from my store room as the temperature has plunged suddenly. I was wearing only a shirt on Sunday but today I had to wear warm coat. Winters are back.” Similar condition was in hotels where tourists are asking for room heaters and warm blankets.
For tourists, it was a wonderful moment. Thousands of tourists thronged Solang Valley with hope to see fresh snowfall but none of them were lucky as fresh snowfall was confined only up to Gulaba ranges, around 1,000 feet above the Solang. As the temperature has plummeted close to subzero, there are strong possibilities of more overnight snowfall.
MANALI: Achieving its first goal to clear Manali-Leh highway, Border Roads Organization (BRO) has cleared snow from highway till Beas Nullah, 33km from Manali but heavy snowfall has hampered the operation on Monday.
A snow cutter on Manali Leh highway near Rohtang (file photo)
If weather allows, Manali would be connected with Marhi, within two days, says BRO official. Snow clearance operation was badly affected after heavy snowfall on Monday. After facing blizzards, the work remained stopped the whole day. Numerous landslides have changed the shape of the highway. With highway remaining beneath several feet of snow for four months, nobody took stock of its conditions. Now the organization is getting to see what the highway had suffered during four winter months.
“Snowfall has increased our difficulties but we are close to reach Marhi from where we would start our second phase of operation to invade the Rohtang pass,” 38 border roads task force commander Yogesh Nair said. He said that BRO jawans are working under extreme climatic conditions and are facing 10 to 25 feet high walls of snow. “Temperature is many notches below the freezing point and landslides near Beas Nullah have ruined the face of highway. We are working hard to remain up to date with our already set target.”
BRO has still 20km of road to clear the snow before reaching Rohtang pass. Rahni Nullah, around 8km beyond Marhi, is said to be the toughest stretch to clear the snow as Rohtang glacier passes through it and more than 40 feet of snow which has turned hard ice is normal to be found here.