Higher Himalayan region still awaiting snow
Pithoragarh, Jan 10
Complete absence of snow the in higher Himalayan region and no rains in lower valleys has affected the agriculture as well as tourism trade in Pithoragarh and Champawat districts this year as despite forecast by weather department, there is no snow or rains this year.
“We used to witness snowfall in Munsiyari from the month of November and till last week of December an average of 5 feet snow used to deposit in Munsiyari. The soil could be seen only in February,” said Sri Ram Singh Dharmasaktu, president of Malla Johar Vikash Samiti in Munsiyari.
“This year the situation is adverse as we have not witnessed even an inch of snowfall despite first fortnight of January is about to end,” added Dharmasaktu.
According to tourism facility owners in Munsiyari, in the year 2023, between November 15 till December 1, there was snowfall four times but this year there is not even a single snowfall till January 10, this year.”Even the highly snow clad peaks of Milam, Ralam, Nitwalthor, Laspa and Chipla Kedar are barren without snow this year,” said Puran Pandey, a hotel owner and journalist based in Munsiyari.
According to Pandey, these peaks used to had snowfall atleast 25 times during these months last year.”This lack of snowfall is bound to lessen water generation in Himalayan rivers during summer months this year,” feared Pandey.
“The tourists trade in Munsiyari has also gone down by 27 percent this season due to lack of snow, as the tourists wanting snow skiing, viewing of snow, witnessing live snowfall and snow tracking from Munsiyari town to Khaliatop have not reached Munsiyari due to absence of snowfall,” said Devendra Singh, President of Hotel Association in Munsiyari.
Ritu Tamta, District Agriculture Officer of Pithoragarh, has said that due to absence of rains in cultivable lower valleys of the district, the Rabi crop has been badly affected.” Though the germination of Rabi crop was normal in the district, but if the rains does not occur till January 15 this year, we will start assessing likely losses of crops in the district,” he said.