PM rally in Shimla causes inconvenience to locals, tourists | india-news | Hindustan Times
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PM rally in Shimla causes inconvenience to locals, tourists

india Updated: Apr 27, 2017 18:41 IST
Saurabh Chauhan
Prime Minister Narendra Modi greeting people from his vehicle ahead of his rally in Shimla on Thursday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi greeting people from his vehicle ahead of his rally in Shimla on Thursday.(Deepak Sansta/HT Photo)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit came as an inconvenience for locals as well as tourists in the quaint hill town of Shimla as the Special Protection Group (SPG) cordoned of the entire Mall Road for security reasons.

At the rally venue—The Ridge—only one passage was left open for walking while rest of the lateral roads and passages leading to the Ridge were closed. Three roads— Scandal point, juice corner and the road from Lakkar Bazaar remained open.

RAIN ADDS TO CHAOS

People holding umbrellas as rain starts pouring in. (Deepak Sansta/HT Photo )

Despite intermittent rains, there was no dearth of people waiting to catch a glimpse of the Prime Minister.

SOME SCHOOLS CLOSED

A few schools declared a holiday on Thursday in the wake of Modi visit. Children of other schools faced inconvenience due to the closed roads. “Shimla has virtually been sealed. We had to walk almost a kilometre extra to reach school today,” said Ashish Mehta, a local resident.

HEAVY VEHICLES BARRED ENTRY

Heavy vehicles carrying passengers were barred from entering Shimla. A large number of people who had come to attend Modi’s public meeting could not make to the Rally venue as vehicles were not allowed to ply beyond the town’s entry point. “We started off quite early in the morning but our vehicle was stopped in Dhali. From there we walked our way nearly four kilometres but we could not reach the venue,” said Pawan Sood, a Theog resident.

People standing in the long queues at the entry gate for checking during Prime Minister’s rally at Lakkar Bazaar in Shimla on Thursday. (Deepak Sansta/HT Photo )

Meanwhile, there was a heavy rush from Sanjauli to Ridge as people made their way to the rally venue. “The situation was peaceful but the crowd was huge,” a cop on duty near Indira Gandhi Medical College (IGMC) said.

A tourist from Chandigarh, Anil Malhotra, said he was not aware of Modi’s rally before he planned to come to Shimla. “The town is sealed so we are planning to visit the next nearest tourist destination,” he said.

TRAFFIC ON CIRCULAR ROAD COMES TO A STANDSTILL

Traffic on the main circular road virtually came to standstill for several hours. Several vehicles, including those providing emergency services, were also stuck on the Cart Road. “I had to go to Shoghi but could not leave the town due to the traffic jam,” said Jeet Ram Thakur, a taxi driver.

Traffic on road leading to Mall road from Chota Shimla was stopped near chief minister Virbhadra Singh’s official residence ‘Oak Over’ twice when Modi arrived and left. Modi’s cavalcade passed through the Mall road and reached Taka Bench via Raj Bhawan.