8K vehicles in 60 hours, tourists throng Shimla

Bhanu P Lohumi

Tribune News Service

Shimla, June 14

With Himachal Pradesh scrapping the requirement of an RT-PCR report for entering the state, tourists are making a beeline to the Queen of Hills. Nearly 8,100 vehicles entered Shimla through Shoghi border in 60 hours from 8 am on Saturday till 8 pm on Monday.

Violators warned

  • With travel restrictions eased, tourists are flocking to Queen of Hills
  • To enforce Covid protocol, police presence has been increased
  • The offenders will be fined Rs500 at the first instance
  • Repeat offenders will face eight-day imprisonment or Rs5,000 fine, or both

From almost negligible bookings, the hotel occupancy touched 30 per cent, which is expected to go up to 60 per cent in the coming days, said Sanjay Sood, president, Shimla Hotel and Restaurant Association. MK Seth, president, Tourism Industry Stakeholders Association, said, “We have appealed to the hotel owners to strictly abide by the standard operating procedures (SOPs) and avoid overcrowding on their premises.”

The tourism industry, which suffered heavy losses in the peak season last year and this year as well, is hoping for a revival with the easing of curbs.

The state police today issued an advisory asking the tourists to wear masks, maintain social distance and follow Covid guidelines or face action. “We welcome the tourists, but want them to abide by the norms. The violators will be fined Rs 500 at the first instance. Repeat offenders will be sentenced to eight days in prison or imposed a fine of Rs 5,000 or both,” the advisory cautioned.

Mohit Chawla, SP, Shimla, said, “We have deployed 10 reserves in the district (seven for enforcing curbs and three for internal mobilisation). Besides, 200 personnel are on traffic duty in addition to patrolling teams, which will guide the tourists.”

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