Tribune News Service
Mandi, January 4
Ignoring the Met Department’s warning of heavy snowfall in the higher reaches till January 6, tourists have been venturing into Kullu hilltops, putting their lives at risk.
The Kullu administration has sounded an alert, still visitors are going on treks.
On Thursday, a group of six tourists going towards Bijli Mahadev lost their way. The district administration had to launch a rescue operation and managed to trace them with the help of locals after hours of struggle.
All tourists were from Kangra. It was not the first time that tourists had ignored Met warning and risked their lives. Often, youngsters don’t give two hoots to weather alerts and proceed with their treks. In the past, several such incidents have been reported in the district. Tourists enter the high-altitude areas, get trapped and then wait for help for days together.
For the safety of trekkers, the district administration has started a website gokullu.com, where one can register online, but only a few take the trouble to do so.
The tourists neither register themselves at police stations nor do they do it online, making things difficult for the police, who are unable to lend timely help in case of any emergency.
Kullu Superintendent of Police Shalini Agnihotri said: “We continue asking the tourists visiting here to follow instructions of the district administration. Venturing into high-altitude areas during winter may prove fatal as most are not accustomed to such harsh weather conditiond.”
“Those visiting the area are advised to get themselves registered at nearby police stations and also spell out their itinerary. They should seek help from local guides, who are aware of the topography of the area. During winter, there is always a risk of heavy snowfall, so one must be careful,” she said.
Kullu Deputy Commissioner Yunus Khan said the people had been advised to take precautions. “The website is for their safety and registeration is a must in case one needs timely help,” he added.
Heavy snow, rain alert
- Shimla: The Met office has predicted snow, hailstorm and rain in the state till January 7 due to a fresh western disturbance.
- According to the weather report issued here on Friday, Keylong in Lahaul-Spiti continues to the coldest place with the minimum temperature of -10.8°C, followed by Kalpa in Kinnuar -6°C and Manali -3.2°C. Shimla recorded the minimum temperature of 2.5°C.
- Seobagh in Kullu recorded -2°C, Bhuntar and Kufri -1°C, Solan 0.6°C, Chamba and Dalhousie 1°C and Dharamsala recorded 4.6°C.
- The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has sounded an ‘orange warning’ of heavy snowfall and rain in Himachal from January 4 to 6.
- The IMD has also predicted isolated to scattered precipitation in the state from January 8 onwards.
- The State Disaster Management Authority said it was prepared to deal with any eventuality. TNS
Mandi admn gives snow kits to rescuers
- Deputy Commissioner Rugved Thakur on Friday saidall necessary arrangements had been made to deal with any emergency arising due to heavy snowfall in Mandi district.Eight snow kits had been provided to relief and rescue workers.
- The kits contained sunglasses, snow suits, snow boots, helmets, ropes, blankets and torches, which were must for relief and rescue operations.
- There is a prediction of heavy snowfall between January 4 and January 6. Disaster control room numbers are 01905-226201, 202, 203, 204 and toll free number 1077 for help, he added. tns