The increased tourist influx in Shimla has brought along traffic snarls giving both the locals and tourists a harrowing time.
With the temperatures soaring in the plains and schools closed for summer vacations, hordes of tourists have been heading to the state capital for some respite. As a result, the narrow roads of the city have been chock-a-block with tourist vehicles and taxis. Among the worst-affected points are Tauland, Victory Tunnel and Boileauganj.
On Saturday noon, commuters travelling towards Sanjauli were stuck in traffic for about an hour with sudden rainfall exacerbating the problem as traffic cops disappeared from the road.
Besides, it now takes half an hour to reach Lakkar Bazaar from the barrier near Tutikandi, a five kilometre stretch. Even roads leading to Kufri and Narkanda, other popular tourist destinations, are hit.
"We were told it will take 30 minutes to reach Kufri from Shimla. But we have already been stuck in traffic for 30 minutes here," said Jiten Shah, a tourist from Gandhinagar and Gujarat.
Even police seem to be mute spectators to the gridlocks bringing their traffic management plan to the knees.
"Around 10,000 vehicles enter Shimla daily during the peak tourist season, which leads to traffic snarls," deputy superintendent of police (traffic) Dinesh Sharma said.
According to a Shimla Police survey, an estimated 85,000 vehicles ply on the city roads daily, while about 8,000 vehicles enter the town from other stations. A total of 120 traffic cops manage the traffic on various points.
A tour operator Rohit Sharma said he got many queries about the traffic situation in Shimla. "Tourists are aware about Shimla's traffic jams and often refuse to visit the city due to this," he added.