Shimla : A day after heavy snowfall in Himachal Pradesh , the hill folk awoke to a bright but freezing morning Thursday with the popular tourist hill stations of Shimla and Manali experiencing the coldest nights of this winter.
In Shimla the mercury dropped to minus 4 celcius some five degrees below normal and in Manali it was minus 7.5 C . It was a bone chilling minus 11 C in Kalpa the weather office said .
Overnight snow froze in both the towns , water pipes also froze and burst , the only relief was the bright sunshine .
Due to heavy snowfall in the ski resorts of Kufri and Narkanda no traffic is plying since the weekend on the hindustan tibet road leading passing through Shimla and Kinnaur districts .
The Shimla-Kharapather-Rohru and Shimla-Chopal roads are also blocked . Many of the snowbound areas are without electricity and water .
Apple farmers are worried the regular spells of snowfall this time has affected winter operations in the orchards as the fields are still deep under snow at many places .
The sprawling tribal belt of Kinnaur , Lahaul, Spiti , Pangi and Dodra-Kwar are reeling under severe cold conditions and the region is deep under snow. The region continues to be cut of from the rest of the country since December.
Photo by: Jaipal Mandyal
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.