Himachal Pradesh: A large number of tourists get rescued by the police teams who were stranded in over 400 vehicles in the Atal Tunnel. An official has informed that the police team launched a rescue operation for the tourists near the South Portal of the Atal Tunnel in Rohtang Pass. As per the news reports, the tourists were struck in the tunnel due to the slippery conditions that prevailed after the snowfall.
Rescue operation took hours
Police teams from Keylong and Manali jointly launched a rescue operation, which took 10-12 hours and concluded around 4 am on Friday, and the vehicles moved to their respective destinations, the officials said. However, the tourists said they were thrilled to see and enjoy the snow.
Food arrangements were made for the tourists
All the vehicles that were struck due to bad weather conditions have safely crossed the South Portal. Food arrangements were made for the stranded tourists and locals, Deputy Commissioner, Lahaul and Spiti, Sumit Khimta said. Tourists have been advised to drive cautiously, Deputy Commissioner, Kullu, Ashutosh Garg.
Footfall is expected to rise
A large number of tourists are thronging Kullu and Manali to celebrate New Year and the footfall is expected to rise after the snowfall. Too many vehicles on the road have led to frequent traffic jams but the occupancy of registered rooms is not as per the vehicular traffic and it seems many tourists are staying in unauthorised properties, president of Manali Hoteliers’ Association Mukesh Thakur said.
Snowfall in the valley
Dalhousie, Saloni and Churah areas of Chamba district and Pangi valley received snowfall and have been cut off from the rest of the state. Tourists also enjoyed snow in Kalpa in the tribal Kinnaur district as well as in Kufri, Narkanda and Kukumseri. The local MeT office has predicted dry weather on December 31 and hoteliers in the state are gearing up for New Year and offering special dinners, parties and competitions to tourists.
Traffic on the routes
Kothi received 15 cm of snow, followed by Khadrala, Udaipur and Kalpa 5 cm each cm, Pooh and Sangla 4 cm each, Gondla, Shillaro and Kukumseri 3 cm each. Traffic was also disrupted on a few routes in Shimla, Chamba, Kinnaur and Lahaul and Spiti, the officials said.
Prediction of weather
The MeT office has predicted dry weather in the region till January 3 and cautioned of likely moderate to dense fog at isolated pockets over plains and low hills during the morning hours. The cold wave is likely at isolated pockets over plains and low hills, it added. The minimum temperature further dipped marginally in the state and Keylong in tribal Lahaul and Spiti was the coldest place at minus 6.3 degrees Celsius.