Heavy snowfall affects electioneering in Himachal Pradesh

December 13th, 2007 - 4:27 pm ICT by admin  

Shimla, Dec 13 (ANI): Heavy snowfall is dampening the election spirit in poll-bound Himachal Pradesh, even as tourists are thronging Shimla and other hill resorts in the state to enjoy the snow.
The administration apprehends problems if it snows around the polling dates.
Taroon Kapoor, Deputy Commissioner of Shimla District Administration, said the situation is under control as of now but if the snowfall continues for another couple of days, elections might be affected.
“We will have a problem only if it snows around 17, 18, 19 and 20. These are crucial days. If we have heavy snowfall during this time, some polling stations might have a problem. We have 80 polling booths in the constituency where people have to walk for five kilometres or more,” said Kapoor.
He further added that in many constituencies, road traffic would be adversely affected and travelling by foot to campaign might not be possible.
With over 4.5 million people eligible to cast their votes, the first phase of elections was held in snow-bound Lahul Spiti and adjoining areas on November 14. The second phase of elections is scheduled to be held on December 19, and results are to be announced at the end of the month.
The term of the Himachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly expires on March 9, 2008.
Meanwhile, people from the plains are thronging tourist resorts in the state to enjoy the snow.
Many of them have come to Shimla and nearby areas to experience the snowfall for the first time.
This year, because of the early snow, more tourists are expected to visit the state.
“It is good for tourism. More and more people are thronging the place. It is good for the economy and the business of the state,” said Chanderjeet Rana, a resident.
Over five lakh domestic and foreign tourists throng Shimla during winter season.
As per the records with the Department of Tourism, over 47,70,00 domestic and over 18,000 foreign tourists visited Shimla last winter season. (ANI)

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