Arunachal Pradesh is experiencing heavy snowfall in several areas, turning the region into a winter wonderland for visitors but causing difficulties for residents of Tawang and Lower Dibang Valley. While snowfall in Arunachal is typically seen in January, Sela Pass in Tawang and Mayudia Pass in Lower Dibang Valley have already been blanketed in snow for the past three days.
The road connecting Dirang and Tawang, which serves as a crucial transportation route for the Defense Forces, has been heavily impacted by the snowfall. Authorities have urged commuters to exercise caution while driving. Officials have reported that while Sela Pass, located at an altitude of 13,700 feet on the border between Tawang and West Kameng districts, has received over one foot of snow in the past three days, the town of Tawang itself has not been affected by snowfall.
On Wednesday, a large number of tourists from Itanagar and neighbouring Assam flocked to Mayudia Pass to witness the views. However, due to the adverse weather conditions, the administration issued an advisory restricting travel on the state highway through the Dibang Valley region. The valley is conveniently located adjacent to the upper Assam plains.
According to Olak Apang, Extra Assistant Commissioner of Dibang Valley, residents of Lower Dibang Valley have experienced snowfall in the past but this time it is particularly heavy. The heavy snowfall could pose risks for tourists who have come in large numbers to the highway running through Mayudia Pass to see the snow-covered landscape. By Thursday noon, the snowfall had stopped, though snow continued to blanket Mayudia. Connectivity along the state highway at Mayudia was severely disrupted starting on Wednesday. Officials from the State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA) in Arunachal Pradesh pointed out that while Tawang is also experiencing snowfall, the locals and forces stationed in the district, which borders China, are accustomed to snow. The snowfall in Lower Dibang Valley has been unusual this time, occurring ahead of the expected time and in heavier quantities, according to Bhupen Mili, a senior consultant at SDMA.
While the period from September to November and February to March, before the start of the rainy season, is considered the best time for tourists to visit Tawang, a significant number of tourists have been camping in the border town to enjoy the winter season.
Source: Times of India