Himachal still paralysed by snowfall , freezing cold

Shimla : Despite the bright sun in the past three days life remains disrupted in much of Himachal Pradesh by the heavy snowfall and blizzards which hit the state over the weekend .

Over half the state remains cut off from the outside world as the relentless icy cold continues with more snow forecast by the weather man from Sunday.

Photo by Sanjeeva Pandey

Much of Shimla , Kullu and Chamba districts are still cut of . While parts of Sirmaur and Mandi remain cut off from the rest of the state.

And the twin tribal districts of Kinnaur , Lahaul & Spiti remain entirely cut off from the rest of the world. With talk of a helicopter flight with supplies and medicines to Keylong today if the weather permits .

Adding to the misery of the people is lack of electricity which has not been restored in many places .

Heavy snow coupled with blizzards have snapped power cables in many areas forcing people to remain in darkness and freezing conditions .

Life has not returned to normal even in the state capital Shimla which received 50 cm of snowfall .

Many of the higher parts of the town went without water again due to freezing of water pipes after yet another bone chilling night .

Power shortages have reduced the voltage considerably making if difficult of use electrical heaters and other appliances many residents complained .

Traffic has still not been restored in many parts of Shimla and people can be seen trudging on the icy roads with caution .

In the last couple of days tourists have started arriving in large numbers to see snow in Shimla and surrounding areas .

Manali also experienced the coldest night of the season with the mercury dipping to minus 6.6 celcius and the town remains deep under snow .

The road to this popular resort town has still not been restored from the rest of the Kullu valley .

In Keylong , headquarters of Lahaul & Spiti people groaned in cold as the mercury plummeted to minus 15 C .

As state assembly elections are scheduled later this year , the state government has making a lot of noise that it is prepared to tackle the snowfall .

But despite the over-equipped and over-staffed government machinery the system has been slow to respond and restore life back to normal .

In a 20 year career published widely. He has worked for the BBC, AFP, The Statesman, IANS and the Business Standard . Known for his hard hitting writing and occasional off-beat stories. He lives in Shimla.

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