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Manali–Leh NH blocked after season's 1st snowfall in Lahaul–Spiti

Manali–Leh NH blocked after seasons 1st snowfall in Lahaul–Spiti
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Shimla: Winters are knocking at the doors in the tribal belt of Lahaul-Spiti as the district and its glacier laden higher reaches experienced seasons first snowfall, bringing a new charm for the tourists but also misery for the locals, and

travellers to Leh.

After the world's highest motorable village Komic located at a height of 15,500 feet experienced snowfall on Sunday, the day was followed by fresh spell of snow in most areas of Lahaul valley including Sissu–a tourist spot next to Rohtang Tunnel's north portal.

Dhankhar, a large high village at a height of 12,744 feet in the cold deserts of spiti, received fresh snowfall on Monday. The village was seen covered with a thick blanket of snow following the fresh fall.

Reports from the district said Darcha-Leh NH, which has been a vital link for the movement of the tourists ,adventurers and army supplies via Manali, has been closed after heavy snowfall at Baralacha Pass. Shinkula pass, at a height of 16,580 feet which connects Kargil, has also been closed for traffic following snowfall. The snowfall has led to misery for the tourists travelling in Spiti valley as nine tourists were stranded at Batal while other nine reportedly got stranded on Darcha-Shinkula road.

Sudesh Mokhta, special secretary in the state Disaster Management authority said efforts were undertaken to rescue all the stranded persons, who will be taken to safer places. The Manali-Leh highway was closed for normal traffic after snowfall at Baralacha pass in the district.

According to Lahaul-Spiti Superintendent of Police (SP) Manav Verma, the traffic movement at the Gramphu-Kaza highway had also been blocked due to snowfall at Kunzum pass in Lahaul-Spiti.

Rohtang Pass ,which also experienced snowfall on Sunday and again this morning, has been closed for tourists.

"The tourists have been advised not to travel on the road and risk their lives," said an official spokesperson.

Elsewhere in Himachal Pradesh, incessant rains during last 24 hours have paralised the normal life and brought down the temperature by eight to 10 degree C. The districts of Kangra, Mandi, Kullu, Shimla.Solan and Sirmaur beside Kinnaur and Hamirpur have been experiencing rains.

One person died at Sarchu due to low oxygen. Ongoing Kullu Dussehra has also been affected by incessant rains and drop in the temperature.

Reports evening suggested around 150 persons, including tourists are stranded at different places in Lahual and Spiti after sudden snowfall and weather change.

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