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Wednesday, Sep 18, 2019

White Christmas eludes Shimla, Manali again as tourists throng hill stations

The large number of tourist vehicles moving on Shimla roads slowed down the traffic movement in the town.

punjab Updated: Dec 26, 2017 14:28 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Shimla
Tourists enjoying the pleasant weather on The Ridge in Shimla.
Tourists enjoying the pleasant weather on The Ridge in Shimla.(Deepak Sansta/HT)

 Though snow eluded Shimla and other hill towns this Christmas, heavy tourist inflow was witnessed in Himachal, leading to traffic snarls at various places.

Anticipating heavy rush, since Christmas was falling right after a weekend, the administration had made elaborate arrangements but the unprecedented number of vehicles hitting the roads caused great inconvenience to the locals.

Police sources told Hindustan Times that around 5,000 to 7,000 vehicles entered Shimla on Monday while the town has parking space for only around 1,200-1,500 vehicles.

The large number of tourist vehicles moving on Shimla roads slowed down the traffic movement in the town. The government, meanwhile, threw open nearly half a dozen restricted road for parking vehicles, expecting heavy tourist rush.

Rajesh Saini, a tourist from Chandigarh, who had come to the town in anticipation of a “White Christmas”, said, “I had come here hoping to enjoy the snow on Christmas. But there is no snow, either in Shimla or in Kufri.” But he added, “The weather is cool and enjoyable.”

Another tourist from UP’s Pratapgarh, Vijay Kumar Dubey, said, “Last year, there was snowfall in the town on Christmas but time, the weather is clear. We are still enjoying the weather.”

The picture in Manali too is similar. Heavy tourist rush has choked the town. “Since there are no proper parking facilities, heavy tourist rush has choked the city,” said Sandeep Sharma, a shopkeeper from Manali.

A tourist from Ludhiana, Anil Mahajan, said he had come to Manali to enjoy the Christmas holidays but the traffic snarls played spoilsport. “Manali is a beautiful tourist town but the traffic jam spoiled our plans,” he said.

Room occupancy full

The room occupancy in hotels and lodges of Shimla and Manali have reached 100% ahead of New Year. “Hotels are full to its capacity in Manali till New year,” said Manali Hoteliers Association president Gajender Thakur. Rachit Sood, a Shimla hotelier, said, “We are still receiving inquiries for hotel booking but there is hardly any scope now.” He added, “We are expecting a white new year.”

IMD prediction

Shimla meteorological centre has predicted dry weather over the next one week. “Weather is expected to remain dry and night temperature may decline in some places,” said Shimla Met centre director Manmohan Singh.

First Published: Dec 26, 2017 14:23 IST