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No snow in Shimla, Manali on New Year, winter temp to rise: HP Met

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Snowfall in Shimla on New Year

Shimla: The fever of assembly elections is now receding after formation of the new government in Himachal Pradesh. However, to the dismay of the hospitality industry, the Christmas passed without snow, and now the sun haunts remaining three days of the year 2017. As per the Meteorological Department, the sun will be shining till January 2, 2018.

The maximum temperature in Shimla on December 28  was recorded at 17 degrees Celsius, 16.8 degrees in Dharamsala, 9.1 in Dalhousie and 14.5 degrees in Manali.

The last two weeks of December used to be all about the ‘New Year’ celebrations. For tourist towns like Manali and Shimla had become synonymous with white Christmas and New Year eve. Snowfall and mountains were what attracted tourist towards Himachal in chilling winters,

 said a well-established hotelier of Shimla

Sadly, the unsustainable concocting activities of humans are upto destroying both of them. 

However, the pattern of snow has become more or less erratic with a decrease in the snowfall. However, as per the feedback from the Tourism Department and hoteliers, this year tourist are enjoying the sunny days too. In other words, the hospitality industry might not suffer much due to the absence of snow.

As per the Tourism Department, 153.52 lakh tourists visited Himachal up to September during this year. Out of the total, 150.05 lakh were domestic and 3.77 lakh foreign tourists. This year, tourism contributed 6.8 percent to the domestic product of the state.  

However, the agriculturists and those dependent on horticulture know only too well the significance of rain and snow. As per the scientist, the increase in the maximum and minimum temperatures has led to a reduction in overall precipitation and snowfall. The scholars suggest that the drop in apple production is a clear reflection of the decrease in snowfall.

The table given below shows the results of a study titled “Analysis of Total Precipitation and Snowfall Pattern over Shimla” published in the Journal of Agro-Meteorology in 2011:

Snowfall in Shimla on New Year

The total precipitation and snowfall data of Shimla for 20 winter seasons from 1991-92 to 2010-11 was considered for the study. The winters in Himachal usually start during November and last upto March.

As per the results, it was found that both total precipitation and snowfall have decreased during last two decades. While the snowfall was found to be stable during January and February, it particularly decreased during the beginning of the winter season.

 

Abnormal climatic factors during winters, flowering and fruit development stage have lowered apple productivity of the state. The highly suitable apple production areas are now restricted only to higher hills of Shimla, Kullu, Chamba, dry temperate zones of Kinnaur and Spiti areas. The moderately suitable areas have now become marginal for apple production in the state,

says Prof S K Bhardwaj of Department of Environmental science, YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry.

Further, the scientists suggested that glaciers were direct indicators of climate change.

The rate of retreat of glaciers in Baspa and Parvati basins has also been fast since 1962, in some cases as high as 172 meters per year. Area under snow cover too has changed between October to June in six basins,

says a Senior scientific officer at Himachal Pradesh Council of Science and Technology Dr S S Randhawa.

The official data also shows that the apple growers are taking to cultivation of vegetables and ‘low chill’ fruits like pomegranate and kiwi due to an erratic trend of snow in low and mid-altitude (1200-1800 metres) regions of Kullu, Shimla and Mandi districts. Others have begun to try intercropping in apple orchards with other crops or vegetables.

Image: File Photo Himachal Watcher

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Misc News/Press Release

Scrub Typhus in Himachal: Death Toll Reaches 8, Over 800 Tested Positive

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Scrub Typhus deaths in himachal Pradesh 2019

Shimla- Scrub Typhus death toll in Himachal Pradesh has reached eight, while 801 have been tested positive so far. One of the deaths were reported on September 21, 2019, at the Indira Gandhi Medical College, Shimla. A 16-year-old girl, who was taking treatment at the hospital for the past 10 days, reportedly died today.

So far, among the deceased, five belonged to Shimla, two to Mandi and one to Bilaspur district. All of these victims were receiving treatment at the IGMC Shimla.

As per the data released by the HP Health Department on September 18, a total of 801 cases of Scrub Typhus have been reported from the state. The rise in the number of cases is reported to be steep as by September 10, this number was 622. Maximum cases were reported from district Bilaspur (240), followed by Hamirpur (159), Shimla (107), Kangra (96), Mandi (77), Solan (54), Una (11), Chamba (9), and Kinnaur (1).

Amid the alarming rise in Scrub Typhus cases, the public has been advised that all patients, who complain of high fever, body ache and restlessness, should immediately reach the nearest health centre or start taking medicine for Scrub Typhus (doxycycline) as a precautionary measure. 

As per the health experts, if Typhus goes untreated for two to three days, it becomes fatal. The doctors at the IGMC Shimla cited the delay in treatment as the reason for deaths.

Scrub typhus is caused by a bacteria called Orientia tsutsugamushi. It is spread to people through bites of infected chiggers (larval mites). These mites could be found in grass fields and bushes, which is why people who visit grassy fields to fetch fodder for cattle are more vulnerable to get infected. This is why Scrub Typhus is also known as bush typhus.

Most common symptoms of this disease include fever and chills, headache, body aches, and muscle pain, and appearance of a dark, scab-like region at the site of the chigger bite (also known as eschar).

People with severe illness may develop organ failure and bleeding, which can be fatal if left untreated.

Scrub typhus should be treated with the antibiotic doxycycline. Doxycycline can be used in persons of any age. Antibiotics are most effective if given soon after symptoms begin. People who are treated early with doxycycline usually recover quickly.

 

 

 

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Misc News/Press Release

HP By-Election 2019 Dates Announced, Model Code of Conduct Comes Into Effect

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Hp By-Elections 2019 Dates

Shimla-The dates for the by-elections to two Legislative Assemblies of Himachal Pradesh – Dharamshala and Pachhad- were today announced by the Election Commission of India.  The polling would be held on October 21, 2019, in both constituencies. The counting would be done on 24 October 2019.

After sitting MLAs Kishan Kapoor (Dharamsala) and Suresh Kashyap (Pachaad) were elected to the Lok Sabha, these two seats fell vacant.

With the announcements of the dates for the by-polls, Model Code of Conduct has also come into force in Kangra and Sirmaur districts of Himachal.

The EC said that after taking into consideration various factors like local festivals, electoral rolls, weather conditions etc., the Commission has decided to hold bye-elections to fill two seats in Himachal that lie vacant as per the following schedule

  1. Date of Issue of Gazette Notification 23.09.2019 (MONDAY)
  2. Last Date of Nominations 30.09.2019 (MONDAY)
  3. The date for Scrutiny of Nominations 01.10.2019 (TUESDAY)
  4. Last Date for Withdrawal of candidatures 03.10.2019 (THURSDAY)
  5. Date of Poll 21.10.2019 (MONDAY)
  6. Date of Counting 24.10.2019 (THURSDAY)
  7. Date before which election shall be completed 27.10.2019 (SUNDAY)

The Commission has decided to use EVMs and VVPATs in the by-election in all the polling stations. Adequate numbers of EVMs and VVPATs have been made available and all steps have been taken to ensure that the polls are conducted smoothly with the help of these machines, the EC said.

With this announcement, ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and HP Congress are expected to declare their candidates on both seats in next couple of days. While BJP is struggling in selecting candidates due to infighting, Congress has also not zeroed in on any candidates. BJP had sounded the bugle for by-elections prior to Congress and the Chief Minister has even visited both constituencies twice. While BJP would be fighting to maintain its popularity with which it was voted to power in the general assembly elections in 2017, Congress would try to revive the dying spirit of the party.

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Environment

HP PCB Urges Education Deptt to Educate Children About Air, Noise Pollution Caused by Firecrackers Ahead of Diwali

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HP PCB notice on Diwali 2019

Shimla-Himachal Pradesh Pollution Control Board, ahead of Diwali festival, has urged the department of education to educate children about the harmful effects of air and noise pollution caused due to bursting of firecrackers and also to encourage them to celebrate pollution-free Diwali.

The board has also urged the people of the State to celebrate this festival of light in an eco-friendly way and say no to firecrackers.

The HP PCB said that to access the impact of the bursting of firecrackers during the forthcoming Diwali festival, it will conduct a special monitoring drive in the state. During this drive, the board will assess the ambient air and noise quality in the State.

HP PCB said that necessary directions have been issued to all the regional officers and laboratory In-Charges of the State Board to conduct extensive ambient air quality monitoring derive with effect from October 20 to November 3, 2019.

Ambient noise monitoring will also be conducted during pre- Diwali October on 21 and on the day of Diwali (October 27).  

During this monitoring drive, apart from general parameters like particular Matters (PM10, PM 2.5), oxides of Sulphur and Nitrogen, Carbon Monoxide and Ammonia some additional parameters like Lead, Nickel, arsenic, Barium, Iron and Strontium will also be monitored, the PCB said.

PCB said that all the Deputy Commissioners and Superintendent of Police have been directed to ensure that no firework of firecrackers should be allowed to burst in the 100 meters vicinity of the silence zone such as hospitals, educational institutions, courts etc. as per the provision of law.

 Sales and use of firecrackers generating noise level exceeding 125 dBA is also prohibited.

Ironically, the Board has no check on various other activities that cause air pollution throughout the year. For example, garbage burning is rampant in the state. While the practice is regular in rural areas and municipal councils, the Municipal Corporation of capital Shimla is also not far behind.

Moreover, there is no check on vehicular emissions as both HP PCB and the State Police refuse to take responsibility for it. The ‘No Honking’ campaign to reduce noise pollution in the state has also failed miserably as no steps were taken to create awareness or to deter people from honking unnecessarily. Considering these facts, it sounds odd that the PCB would actually be striving to check air and noise pollution ahead of Diwali.

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