187 stranded tourists rescued from Kufri
Around 180 people, who had been stranded near Kufri amid heavy snowfall, were rescued in an overnight operation on Sunday.
The operation that was jointly conducted by the police and the district administration concluded at 4am.
Vehicles stranded along national highway five, which included HRTC and private buses, private vehicles, taxis and heavy vehicles, were sent to Dhalli and Shimla. Officials say as many as 31 vehicles and 187 people were rescued and safely shifted to Hotel Royal Tulip, Kufri.
Shimla superintendent of police Omapati Jamwal said “The Shimla-Kufri-Theog road has been opened for traffic but the roads are still slippery. We advise the people to avoid travelling during night.”
Shimla deputy commissioner Amit Kashyap said, “Snow-clearing operations are in full swing in the district and the roads will be clear in no time. However, people are advised to be cautious while travelling.”
“HRTC buses are plying normally in the district as well as in the Dodra Kwar sub-division,” he added.
Vehicular movement along the highway stretch connecting Shimla and Bilaspur was also affected as around two inches of sleet had accumulated on the road. As per officials around 500 vehicles were stranded and as such cops helped push vehicles along the slippery road. Snow-clearing machines were dispatched by the district administration and traffic was restored around midnight.
Cold wave intensifies
Fresh snowfall in the middle and high hills have intensified the cold wave in the state. The weather was mostly dry on Sunday.
State meteorological department director Manmohan Singh said, “Due to a fresh western disturbance, heavy snowfall and rainfall is likely to take place in isolated places of the state from January 20 to January 22.”
Shimla, Manali and Dalhousie recorded sub-zero temperatures with their minimum temperatures dropping to -0.6°C, -4.4°C and -2.4°C, respectively.
Keylong in Lahaul-Spiti was the coldest place in the state with a minimum temperature dropping to -14.6°C while Una was the hottest with a maximum temperature of 18.8°C.