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Stringent traffic rules hit tourism, traders threaten strike from June 17

With the administration getting tough on traffic management in Nainital following high court order, especially by restricting entry of tourist vehicles, traders, hoteliers, tour and travel operators here are on warpath

dehradun Updated: Jun 14, 2018 22:04 IST
Neeraj Santoshi 
Neeraj Santoshi 
Hindustan Times, Nainital
Traffic police has put up ‘houseful’ banners on approach roads to Nainital; the hill town has capacity to park 2,000 four-wheelers but nearly 4,000 tourists reach here in cars daily.(PTI)

With the administration getting tough on traffic management in Nainital following high court order, especially by restricting entry of tourist vehicles, traders, hoteliers, tour and travel operators here are on warpath.

They have warned of an indefinite bandh from June 17, saying strict measures were discouraging tourists from coming to Nainital and it has affected their businesses.

The bandh call was given by Nainital Nagrik Manch.

Kishan Negi, president of Nainital Nagrik Manch and Malital Vyapar Mandal, said if authorities don’t agree to their main demands, they would go for the bandh from June 17.

“Tourism industry has been badly hit by the decision of the authorities to stop the vehicles tourists who have no parking arrangements here. The fact is that now nearly half of the public parking spaces are empty. If we take together the general parking lots and those available with the hotels and resorts, Nainital at present has a capacity for parking for nearly 2,000 vehicles,” he said.

Dinesh Lal Sah, president of Nainital Hotels and Restaurants Association, said it was an unprecedented situation in Nainital that tourists were being stopped from entering the city and asked to use shuttle service and public transport.

“If this situation continues, it will ruin our businesses that heavily depend on the tourism. For over a decade, authorities have not come up with any comprehensive and long-term plan for management of traffic here. And now suddenly the administration has woken up and started taking these tough measures. Things like these can’t change overnight,” he said.

Sah said they have also submitted a memorandum of their demands to the chief minister through the office of the commissioner Kumaon.

“The district magistrate and commissioner have called us for a meeting in the evening. I hope something concrete comes out of it that helps us all in resolving this emerging crisis,” he said.

Vinod Kumar Suman, district magistrate of Nainital, said they would hold talks with stakeholders to resolve the issue.

“We are implementing the high court orders in the best possible way we can. We are allowing tourist vehicles according to the available parking space in the city. If we don’t do that, the traffic mess and resulting chaos will only keep increasing here,” he said.

After the HC’s tough stand on traffic management in the small hill station, the administration has swung into action and started stopping tourist vehicles without advance parking arrangements from entering the city.

The district administration has published advertisements in many local and national dailies regarding the fact that those who plan to visit Nainital, should first ensure that they have parking arrangements at the hotels and resorts here where they intend to stay.

The tough measures follow the show cause notices that were issued by the HC on Monday against senior district officials, including district magistrate and senior superintendent of police.

First Published: Jun 14, 2018 22:04 IST