Tourist footfall rises in snow-clad Shimla, Manali; hotel occupancy up 70%

Tourist footfall rises in snow-clad Shimla, Manali; hotel occupancy up 70%
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Shimla: Tourists made a beeline to resorts in Shimla, Manali and Kufri after a fresh snowfall, increasing the occupancy in hotels to almost 70 per cent.

As many as 7,164 vehicles had entered Shimla through Shoghi border in 12 hours till 8 pm on Friday.

The occupancy in hotels is expected to further rise by 10 per cent by the evening, vice president of Shimla Hotel and Restaurant Association Prince Kukreja said.

The police have advised the tourists to keep in mind the heavy inflow of traffic to Shimla before planning their trip, drive safely at slippery points and call 0177-2812344 or 112 in case of emergency.

Slippery road conditions after rain and sleet caused great inconvenience for pedestrians and people came out only after the snow was cleared.

Manali received 23 cm of snow followed by 16 cm in Khadrala, 16 cm in Shillaro, 12 cm in Kufri, 10 cm in Bharmour, 6 cm each in Shimla and Gondla, 4 cm each in Dalhousie and Kalpa and 3 cm each in Hansa and Keylong.

The meteorological station here has predicted dry weather in the region for the next four days and cautioned of dense fog and cold waves in low hills from January 14 to 17.

We were delighted to see snow in the morning and are heading to Kufri to enjoy it, a tourist from Delhi Shekhar said

About 250 roads including 177 in Lahaul and Spiti, 21 in Shimla, 14 in Chamba, 11 in Kinnaur, 10 each in Mandi and Kullu, two in Kangra districts and four national highways are closed for vehicular traffic while 623 transformers are disrupted in the state.

Keylong in tribal Lahaul and Spiti was coldest at night with a low of minus 7.9 degrees Celsius followed by minus 2.6 degrees in Kalpa

Meanwhile, tourist destinations of Narkanda recorded a low of minus 2.5 degrees, while it was minus 0.8 degrees in Kufri, minus 0.2 degrees in Manali, 0.5 degrees in Dalhousie, 0.6 degrees in Shimla, 5.7 degrees in Kasauli and 6.4 degrees in Dharamshala.

The agriculture department official said snowfall and rains have ended the dry spell. With this, the rain deficit in January has reduced to 68 per cent, continuous rains could reduce the loss of wheat and vegetables in the rainfed area from 20-25 per cent to 10- 15 per cent.

Himachal received almost 100 per cent deficit rains in December 2022.

Arrangements have been made to provide uninterrupted civic services in view of snowfall and the capital town has been divided into five sectors headed by nodal officers who have been directed to hold meetings with the concerned officers of various departments to chalk out a plan to handle the post-snowfall situation.