More than 900 villages of Uttrakhand are without electricity and water as unprecedented heavy snowfall has disrupted life in the state over the past few days.
“The electricity and water supply is disrupted in more than 900 villages and 50 tourists are stranded in a number of places due the closure of roads,” an official of the state government said.
“Traffic is blocked on around 100 highways across the state.”
With roads turning slippery, traffic has come to a standstill in the upper reaches, and the administration is trying to fix things, the official said.
Ritesh Rawat, a resident of Chamoli said: “The snow disrupts the supply of electricity and water almost every year. But this time around it has been for a longer stretch, without any kind of respite in sight.”
This problem is more severe in the villages on the higher reaches.
According to the official, there are about 950 villages in Chamoli, Pauri, Tehri, Uttarkashi and Rudraprayag districts of Garhwal division where electricity is disrupted. There is also a drinking water crisis in more than 450 villages. In most villages, people are drinking water by melting ice.
Amar Maurya, a resident, said that due to heavy frost the entire area has turned dangerous as the terrain is not clear. This is causing a lot of trouble.
According to the police, a car skidded after hitting a pothole near Patisain Bazaar in Pauri district, injuring five people.
In New Tehri, 32 people have been injured in different.
Two students were reported injured in Uttarkashi.
After the snowfall in Auli, the Joshimath-Auli route is closed and more than 20 tourists are stranded with their vehicles. There are landslides and rock fall reported from Lambgarh on the Rishikesh-Badrinath highway constantly.
Rains have increased in remote areas of Nainital, Bageshwar and Almora of Kumaon division promising to bring down temperatures further.
Bikram Singh, director of the Meteorological Centre, said the skies will remain clear on Saturday and Sunday, but from January 13, the weather may change once again.
The Met forecast frost in the plains especially in Haridwar, Udhamsingh Nagar in the morning and night. Hailstorm is expected at some places in Dehradun, Haridwar, Pauri, Nainital, Udham Singh Nagar on January 13.
The Disaster Management has issued alert across the state.
In Himachal Pradesh, the picturesque tourist resorts of Shimla and Manali are also facing challenges posed by heavy snowfall. This has resulted long traffic snarls.
Officials said work is on to clearing the snow on the roads.
According to the State Disaster Management Authority, more than 800 link roads are blocked.
The government has advised motorists to check the weather conditions before they venture out on the high hills.
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