Shimla: While the politicians roughed it out electioneering in cold weather, tourists have thronged hill stations to enjoy the unusual early snowfalls this winter.
For the fourth straight day, the cold wave sweeping the regions brought more snow and rain as the temperatures remained low.
The meteorological office reported widespread rain in lower hills and snowfall in higher reaches with the high altitude zone of Kinnaur, Lahaul-Spiti and Bharmaur experiencing sub zero temperatures.
The Dhauladhar ranges, crowing the Kangra valley experienced more snow today and so did the tourist resorts of Solang in Manali and Kufri and Narkanda in Shimla hills.
â€œThe early snow has increased tourist occupancy in most hotels,â€ said Davender Shyam, who operates a hotel here.
In Solan the temperature dipped to zero and the people shivered through the day.
The cold conditions has also hit power generation in many hydro plants with the largest 1500 MW Nathpa Jakhri plant operating at only 20 percent capacity.
Chief minister Virbhadra Singh managed to hold onto his electioneering schedule in Kangra district with reports of the venues being shifted indoors whereas Prem Kumar Dhumal,the BJP candidate in the fray for the chief ministerial post could hold only two of the four rallyâ€™s scheduled. Senior congress leader Shanta Kumar decided to keep from poll duty for the day.
The met office has predicted more rain in the lower areas and snow in the mid and lower hills of the state over the next 24 hrs.