Heavy snowfall in Uttarakhand brings normal life to a standstill

Hundreds of villages and areas are cut off from the rest of the world with higher reaches receiving over 6-feet snowfall.

Published: 09th January 2020 08:50 PM  |   Last Updated: 09th January 2020 08:50 PM   |  A+A-

Shimla snowfall

Tourists stroll at Ridge in Shimla during heavy snowfall (Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

DEHRADUN: Heavy snowfall in the last two days in hilly areas of Uttarakhand has brought life to a standstill as key highways remained blocked and disrupted both power and water supply. 

Apart from the hills, plains also received rainfall bringing temperatures down. 

Govind Singh Kunjwal, former speaker of Uttarakhand legislative assembly and Indian National Congress MLA from Jageshwar seat said that the condition is so bad that he could not visit his constituency.

"The state government has failed in every sphere. Life in the hills of Uttarakhand has come to stand still and yet nothing is being done. Roads remain blocked, power and water supply disrupted while people are left to fend for themselves," said Kunjwal.

Hundreds of villages and areas are cut off from the rest of the world with higher reaches receiving over 6-feet snowfall. Many areas in the state witnessed such snowfall after years. 

Districts of Rudraprayag, Uttarkashi and Pithoragarh revived over six-feet snowfall in Kedarnath, Badrinath and Munsyari followed by 1-3 feet snowfall in Nainital, Mussoorie, Mukteshwar, Champawat and various other places blocking the roads.

However, the state government officials said that relief measures are being implemented to restore communication along with power and water supply.

Madan Kaushik, state cabinet minister and spokesperson for the state government said, "Teams of state disaster management force, public works department, electricity and Jal Sansthan are working in coordination to restore normacly and soon will be able to do so."

Tourism industry hopes for more tourist traffic in hotspots such as Nainital, Mussoorie, Mukteshwar, Harshil and other places. 

Ved Sah, a hotel owner from Nainital said, "Nainital has received such snowfall after years. We expect tourist traffic to increase this weekend in Nainital as well as in other destinations of Uttarakhand."

Over 400 villages remain cut off from the world and more than 100 connecting roads are still blocked due to heavy snowfall in hill districts of Uttarakhand. 

Roads to Char Dham- Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri remain blocked as these shrines are covered with 10-12 feet snow blankets. 

Worst affected is Chamoli district with 123 villages followed by Tehri (38) Pauri (41), Rudraprayag (52) 55 in Uttarkashi district and 27 in Dehradun.   

Cold conditions compounded with darkness in absence of electricity supply continues to plague people as temperatures have gone below zero in many locations such as Nainital, Pithoragarh, Uttarkashi, Rudraprayag and Mukteshwar along with many other areas of higher reaches. 

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