Updated on January 10, 2020
No respite from cold, Manali shivers at minus 7.6 degrees C
The intense cold wave conditions continued to affect normal life in Himachal as mercury at some places had plunged below minus 15 degrees Celsius. Post heavy snowfall, the bone-chilling cold in Manali is breaking records of last many years.
At minus 26 degrees C, Kaza, the administrative centre of Spiti valley, froze at minus 26 degrees C. The temperature at some places in Spiti including Kibber, Komic and Hikkim is expected to be even low. Temperature at Keylong has plummeted to minus 17.6 degrees C and it was minus 7.6 degrees C in Manali. State capital Shimla recorded low of minus 1.3 degrees C. Kalpa (-6.4), Dharamshala (1.2), Solan (-1.6), Dalhousie (0.2) and Mandi (1) are also shivering with cold.
The traffic in parts of Kullu, Mandi and Shimla districts remained affected due to accumulation of snow and ice. The icing of the road and footpath has created troubles for pedestrians, especially tourists. Hundreds of cases of slip and fall were witnessed on Friday.
In Manali, the buses are not being allowed to move beyond Aluground, 5km from here. The tourists are either forced to walk on foot with their luggage or are hiring private taxis. As there is no space to park vehicles and most connecting roads are either blocked or slippery, Manali witnessed long traffic jams for the whole day.
Meanwhile, authorities are struggling to bring life back on track. The snow turned hard ice that has stuck to the roads and footpaths is posing challenge before the workers. The residents and hoteliers are unhappy with the authorities for not starting snow clearing works from the very beginning which could have provided relief to the people.
“I don’t know where the machineries are working. Most of the roads and streets here are still blocked with snow and ice. People are having trouble in walking on ice. The snow clearing works always start when situations go beyond control,” a resident Shailender Sharma said.
The houses and hotels in Manali area had no water in the morning time for second consecutive day as all water pipes got frozen. The essential supplies reached the town on Friday.
In Lahaul, internet services are down for many days and phones are not working properly in many areas. Most internal roads are blocked and residents are spending days indoors.
Shimla meteorological centre director Manmohan Singh said the minimum temperature of the state was 3 to 4 degrees below the normal temperature during this time of season and it maximum temperature was 4 to 5 degrees C below the normal temperature. “Another western disturbance is likely to hit the state on Saturday which may bring more snow and rain in next few days,” he said.