Rising mercury forces people to rush to cool hilly regions

HOUSEFUL: About 95% high-end hotels in Shimla & Manali have been booked to full capacity

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Rising mercury forces people to rush to cool hilly regions
A view of vehicles stuck on Manali-Rohtang highway during a traffic jam


As the Northern and Central India reel under a heatwave, the hilly regions in the north witness influx of tourists. Till last month, the tourism industry of Himachal Pradesh saw a lull in the business due to the Lok Sabha elections, the hotels, lodges bore an empty look. But as the elections ended, the visitors started pouring in from the first week of June itself. Apart from Himachal, Uttrakhand is also seeing a huge rush of tourists. It is said most visitors are from Punjab, Haryana and Delhi.

As per the Himachal state tourism ministry's data around 1crore, 66 lakh tourists visited the state in 2018 and this year looking at the rush the authorities feel the number will surely see a considerable amount of jump.

Rohtang Pass, the 13,050 feet gateway to Lahaul and Spiti Valley, opened for tourists visiting Kelyong and acts as a gateway to Leh. Close to 25,000 tourists were present in Manali on weekends, which has led to heavy traffic jams. Locals say they have witnessed a traffic jam of 10 kilometres, which shows the state's infrastructure doesn't support the rush. The one-way bridge at Dobhi and Aleo Bridge has become the worst bottleneck.

Dozens of ATMs ran out of cash in Manali, Kasol, Manikaran and Kullu as these could not be refilled.

Shimla recorded a maximum of 29°C and Keylong was the coolest at four degrees. Snow the major attraction for tourists here. On Saturday the tourists were stranded on the Pass due to traffic jam. The taxi drivers kept their headlights on so that tourists could enjoy the cool weather.

Capital sizzles at 48° C

The mercury shattered all records in Delhi on Monday with parts of the national capital registering 48 degrees Celsius, the highest for the month of June. The all-time record for the city is of 48.4 degrees Celsius, recorded by the Palam Observatory on May 26, 1998, Devendra Pradhan, Additional Director General of India Meteorological Department, said.

Southwesterly winds on Tuesday may cause the temperature to drop by one or two notches,said IMD. 

Churu once again records 50° C

Severe heatwave conditions persisted in parts of Rajasthan on Monday, with Churu being the hottest place in the state where the mercury touched 50.3 degrees Celsius, a Meteorological (Met) Department official said. 

Most of the cities witnessed temperatures above 45 degrees Celsius, he added. Churu was followed by Sriganganagar at 48.5 degrees Celsius, Bikaner 47.4 degrees Celsius, Kota 47.3 degrees Celsius and Jaipur at 46.3 degrees Celsius. 

— Zee Media Newsroom

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