Snow, rain disrupt life in Himachal; 630 roads closed, 1,162 transformers down

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Several roads were cleared of snow Wednesday but 630 roads continue to remain closed.

With Himachal Pradesh witnessing snow and rainfall, as many as 630 roads were closed and 1,162 power distribution transformers were disrupted in the last two days, government officials said Wednesday.

According to the meteorological centre at Shimla, precipitation occurred at most places in the state on Tuesday and the intervening night of Tuesday and Wednesday. By Wednesday morning, Khadrala and Kufri in Shimla and Kothi in Kullu had received around 1.5 feet of snow each.

Kalpa in Kinnaur recorded 26 centimetres of snow, and Shimla, Manali and Dalhousie received 10, 8 and 16 centimetres of snow respectively.

The low-altitude areas in the state registered a significant amount of rainfall, with the maximum rain of 60 millimetres recorded in Solan, followed by 56 millimetres in Rajgarh (Sirmaur). Dharamshala and Banjar received 50 and 48 millimetres of rain respectively while Palampur recorded 47 millimetres.

Several roads were cleared of snow during Wednesday but 630 roads continue to remain closed, including four national highways, officials said. Shimla district is the most affected with 270 closed roads and 850 disrupted transformers. In Kinnaur, Chamba, Kullu and Sirmaur districts, the number of roads blocked due to snow is 142, 78, 38 and 22 respectively.

In Lahaul and Spiti district, 163 transformers are down while 72 transformers have been disrupted in Kinnaur. Power has also been significantly disrupted in Kullu, Chamba, Sirmaur and Mandi, with 63, 35, 15 and 11 transformers down respectively. Two water supply schemes have also been affected in Mandi.

PWD officials said that damage to the roads has caused a loss of over Rs 160 crore to the state. Around 370 machines including 233 JCBs have been deployed in the snow-clearing operations.

Director of meteorological centre Manmohan Singh said that maximum temperatures rose by two to three degrees Wednesday but were four to five degrees below normal.