Roads leading to Shimla, Manali choked due to heavy tourist influx
Due to the rising mercury levels in the plains and tourists making a beeline for hill stations to beat the heat, roads leading to Shimla and Manali have been left completely choked.
On Saturday evening, long traffic jams were witnessed on the roads leading to Shimla from Shoghi and Kufri from Dhali tunnel, leaving commuters hassled.
On an average, at least 4,500 tourists vehicles enter Manali and 5,000 vehicles enter Shimla everyday. The number only goes up during the weekends and due to lack of proper parking facilities, the problem gets aggravated at both tourist destinations.
When contacted, Shimla deputy superintendent of police (traffic) Kamal Kishore said, “As Shimla doesn’t have enough parking spaces, tourists have no choice but to park their vehicles on roadsides, which leads to traffic jams.” He added that as many as 120 cops have been deployed in the town to manage the traffic.
In Manali, 120 constables and an equal number of homeguards will be on duty to tackle the traffic snarls. Kullu deputy superintendent of police Ashish Sharma said, “Most of the traffic problems occur due to single-lane bridges in Dobhi and Manali and because of ongoing construction works at various sites.”
HOTELS BOOKED TO FULL CAPACITY
About 95% high-end hotels in Shimla and 90% in Manali have been booked to full capacity. Manali restaurant and hotel association president Gajender Thakur said, “Due to unbearable heat in the plains, tourists from three neighbouring states— Delhi, Punjab and Haryana— are converging on to the hill stations for the weekend. Due to this, most of the hotels here are booked to full capacity.”
ATMS RUN OUT OF CASH
Dozens of ATMs ran out of cash in Manali, Kasol, Manikaran and Kullu as these could not be refilled due to bank holidays on Wednesday and Thursday.
MERCURY LEVELS IN HIMACHAL UP TOO
Although Himachal is known to have a fairly pleasant weather during this time of the year, the popular hill stations were hotter than usual on Saturday.
Shimla recorded a maximum of 27°C, Manali 27.8°C and Dharamshala 31.6°C. Una was the hottest at 43.4°C. Keylong was the coolest at four degrees.