Uttarakhand receive first snowfall much to the relief of farmers, tourism industry
Dehradun / Pithoragarh,
The first snowfall of this winter season which was delayed by nearly two months in the hills of Uttarakhand finally brought cheers to the farmers as well as tourism industry. The snowfall in the hills and rains in the lower valleys and plain areas of the state put an end to the dry spell witnessed in the state since October 2023.
The snowfall in Chakrata, Joishimath, Auli, Dhanolti, Chamoli, Nainital, Pithoragarh, Munsiyari brought cheers for tourism industry as farmers also heaved a sigh of relief. The delayed snowfall this year has resulted into 40 percent loss to tourism industry of Munsiyari town that is also known as ‘Himnagri’ having snowfall since the month of November every year as it sits in foothills of grand Panchachuli peaks of Himalayas.
“The meagre snowfall this year was known to people as there was only one feet snow at Kalamuni peak and Khaliya ridge while the town of Munsiyari remained without snow even in this delayed snowfall,” said Puran Pandey, a hotelier in Munsiyari town.
The snowfall in Munsiyari used to begin from the month of December and remained till last of February and sometimes even first week of March.” As per the record, we found that while the snowfall occured seven times in December 2021, 16 times in January in same year and occured 14 times in January 2022, 19 times in January 2022, but the months of December 2023 and January 2024 remained dry ,”said Pandey.
Raju Rawat, a resident of Sarmoli village of Munsiyari said that during his 60 years of age he had not witnessed the month of January without snowfall in Munsiyari.” We used to witness at least 10 times snowfall till Republic Day every year in Munsiyari,” said Raju Rawat.
People related to tourism industry in Munsiyari said that due to no snow in last 2 months, over 5000 tourists cancelled their proposed visit to Munsiyari this year.”Over 200 families involved with tourist industry suffered 40 percent revenue loss due to fewer tourists this season,” said Puran Pandey.
Not only the tourism industry got affected due to snow and rainless situation in last 2 months but the Rabi crops also got damaged.”We are facing 70 percent loss to our Rabi crop of wheat and mustard this year. The grains we used to produce for year-long consumption, will not be even to keep seeds to sow next year,” said Bahadur Singh, a villager of Paikuti village of Munsiyari.
Sriram Singh Dharmasaktu, president of Malla Johar Vikas Samiti said that Uttarakhand receive first snowfall much to the relief of farmers, tourism industrysaid that due to no snowfall in past two months of this winter, the water level of natural springs has also gone down in Malla Johar region of Pithoragarh district.” If there is no heavy snowfall in the months of February and March, the region of upper part of Munsiyari could witness shortage of drinking water in the coming summer months,” feared Dharmasaktu.