Thursday, 21 February 2013

Good snowfall ensures cheering summer in Himachal

SHIMLA/ MANALI: Heavy snowfall on Himachal hills has once again ensured a cheerful summer tourist season, pleasant climate, bountiful drinking water and good time for winter games lovers.
More snowfall in Himachal from February 22
The state is witnessing unexpectedly high flow of tourists in February and is sure about bumper season between April and July when tourists would throng here to get respite from the heat of plains. The current spells of snowfall are acting like magnet to attract tourists to Himachal. Hotels in Shimla, Manali and Dalhousie have already swarmed with inquiries for summer season.
Heavy snowfallin Solang Valley of Manali has cheered the winter games enthusiasts who have flocked here for skiing, snowboarding and other activities. Ski slopes here are covered with hundreds of amateur and professional skiers. “Watching skiers on television always thrills me and now that I’m attempting skiing here, it is like dream come true for me,” a tourist from Indore, Praveen Jain, said.
Some tourists are complaining of swindle and overcharging from them. Harika Kalantri, touristfrom Hyderabad, complains, “I and my husband were charged Rs 4,200 for skis for couple of hours. When we interacted with another couple, we came to know they were charged Rs 2,000. And then we got to know that service providers first entice the tourists and charge arbitrary rent for few minutes. Nobody was present there to control this swindling.”
It is snowing on high hills of Kullu, Shimla, Chamba, Lahaul-Spiti and Kinnaur while lower hills are experiencing light showers. A moderate cold wave is persistent in the state and Keylong in Lahaul was coldest inhabited place in Himachal at -10.4 degrees Celsius followed by Kalpa at -5.4 degrees C. Night temperature in Manali (0.6), Shimla (5.5), Dharamshala (7.6) and Solan (4.2) is still cold. According to Shimla Meteorological office, a fresh western disturbance has entered the state and it would bring more snow to high hills of western Himalayan regions from February 22.
While Manali has experienced good snowfall this year, it is still below the average in Shimla. According to hoteliers in Shimla, shortage of drinking water is the main problem in Shimla during summers and they are expecting more snowfall till March. An hotelier, Chandra Sharma, said, “More snowfall means enough drinking water for summers. Otherwise we are forced to bring water from many kilometers for our guests. Snow on hills  also helps keep the temperature down.”

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