Kullu: Amid the ongoing winter season, where the citizens in hill stations of the country are continuously facing difficulties in accomplishing day-to-day tasks, people who have been craving to witness the snowfall across the country are now visiting hill stations covered under snow-caps. Tourist footfall in certain regions has also increased thus widening the smiles of the tourism dependents. Himachal Pradesh has been the favorite destination for tourists throughout the year, but this time as it receives fresh snowfall, the tourists have increased their stay. Further, to boost tourism during the prevalent cold wave conditions here, the Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (HPTDC) has decided to offer 40 percent discounts on its properties for visiting tourists.
The higher reaches in Lahaul-Spiti, Chamba, Kangra, Mandi, Kullu, Kinnaur, Sirmaur, and Shimla districts have received fresh snowfall during the past 24 hours. Meanwhile, fresh snowfall continued to happen in Kullu, Lahaul-Spiti, and Shimla districts throughout the day.
Director of the tourism department and MD (HPTDC), Amit Kashyap on Friday (January 20) informed about the steps undertaken by the state for the tourists. Amit Kashyap said, “The tourism department has given directions to the authorities and is also appealing to the tourists to follow the advisory of the authorities to avoid any inconveniences.”
“Despite being a lean tourist season, the department of tourism is expecting a good footfall of tourists in the region,” he added. “Nearly one crore sixty lakh tourists visited Himachal Pradesh in 2022. A large number of people came to visit the place after the Covid-19 pandemic and the tourism department also gave a major thrust to the advertisement. The next two to three months in the state are lean tourism months but even in the next three months we are expecting a good footfall of tourists,” he said while terming the year 2022 “a very good year” for tourism in the state.
“Be it snow or any weather-related warning, the deputy commissioners and India Meteorological Department (IMD) issue advisories in the state. I would request the visitors to follow those advisories,” he added. Meanwhile, heavy snowfall also continued in the Kullu district in Himachal Pradesh. Parts of two National Highways in the district– NH 305 closed at Jalori Pass and the NH that goes beyond Manali to Rohtang Tunnel– were also closed due to snowfall.
“There have been continuous rainfall and snowfall in the entire district for the last 18-20 hours. NH 305 closed at Jalori Pass, 18-20 inches of snow has further accumulated there. Another NH that goes to Rohtang Tunnel is closed too. Also, 45 other roads have also been closed due to snowfall,” Deputy Commissioner of Kullu, Ashutosh Garg said yesterday.
“275 roads are closed in snow-prone districts of the state and 330 electricity supply schemes disrupted due to the fresh snowfall in the last 24 hours,” the State Emergency Operation Centre said. Notably, the Kufri and Mashobra areas of Shimla have also been covered under a white layer of snow. The head of the India Meteorological Department (IMD) in Himachal, Surender Paul said that there can be a slight relief from the “dry spell” and the rain or snowfall is unlikely to occur on Saturday and Sunday (January 21 and 22).
“There will be slight relief from the dry spell. Between January 21 and 22, there is unlikely to be any rain and snowfall,” IMD Head Surender Paul said on Friday, further adding that the snowfall is expected on days thereafter with a heavy fall on Tuesday and Wednesday (January 24 and 25).
(With inputs from ANI)