Areas near Darjeeling receives snowfall

Higher reaches of Darjeeling hills witnessed snowfall Tuesday with dense fog and chilly weather engulfing the pristine heights.

Updated: Jan 18, 2011, 13:55 PM IST

Darjeeling: Higher reaches of Darjeeling
hills witnessed snowfall Tuesday with dense fog and chilly
weather engulfing the pristine heights.

The season`s second snowfall was experiened at Tonglu,
40 km from here on the Sandaphku route, official sources said.

Tourists, however, could not make a beeline for it with
the hills witnessing a 7-day shutdown called by the Gorkha
Janamukti Morcha in demand for a separate state.

The visitors had left the area to escape the week-long
shutdown beginning today.

Snow fell at Ghoom, Jorebunglow, Tiger Hills and Lower
Alubari on Sunday night with two inch snow covering the areas.
There were no reports of fresh snowfall in these areas today,
the sources said

Infact the white blanket at Lava had started melting,
the sources said.

The weather remained the same this morning with no trace
of sunshine, a dense fog and the mercury level at 1 degree
celsius.

Earlier, on January 1 it snowed at Sandakphu,
Tontonglu range, Falut and partially on Tiger Hill.

Bandh again in Darjeeling

Tourists who had flocked to
Darjeeling to witness snowfall left a disappointed lot as a
seven-day bandh called by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha began
today, the second shutdown this month, to press for a separate
state of Gorkhaland.

All tourists had left yesterday after having to shell
out thrice the normal fares for taxis to Siliguri in the
plains.

There was no traffic on the roads, with offices,
banks, shops, markets and business establishments closed,
official sources said.

Tea gardens and cinchona plantations, and schools and
colleges exempted from the purview of the bandh, were open
in Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong subdivisions, the
sources said.

Bazars were thronged with shoppers till late hours
yesterday to stock up on food and essential supplies.
The week-long bandh was preceded by a four-day one
from January 12 to 15 on the same demand of carving out a
separate state from West Bengal.

GJM chief Bimal Gurung alongwith 90 supporters will go
on a padayatra from Garubathan in Kalimpong subdivision to
Sankosh in the Dooars in the plains during the day to create
public awareness on the demand for Gorkhaland.

PTI