Hotels mushroom on Kasauli road, cause traffic snarls

Hotels mushroom on Kasauli road, cause traffic snarls

Parapets and pipes of potable drinking schemes damaged due to reckless construction activity under upcoming tourism projects on the Dharampur-Kasauli road. Tribune photo

Ambika Sharma

Tribune News Service

Solan, October 14

Lacking parking facilities, a number of tourism projects that have come up in the Kasauli area, especially along the Dharampur-Kasauli road, have become traffic bottlenecks as vehicles are parked on both sides of the narrow single-lane roads.

Authorities lax

The PWD field staff has been reduced to a mute spectator. They have failed to ensure that no construction is carried out within the acquired width of the road. The lax attitude of the PWD staff has emboldened the investors who have conveniently encroached upon even parapets by raising boundary walls. This has further shrunk the width of the Dharampur-Kasauli and Dharampur-Sanawar roads.

Several hotels have come up but failed to create parking spaces on their premises and their guests, perforce, have to use the road for parking. The situation is particularly critical at weekends when tourists from the tricity and Punjab and Haryana reach there causing traffic snarls on all roads leading to Kasauli from Dharampur.

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) had restricted the height of buildings to two-plus-one storey in the Kasauli Planning Area where the additional storey is supposed to be the attic. “The investors should create parking spaces besides the two-plus-one storey stipulation of the NGT,” says Town Planner Leela Shyam. With no check on parking along the roads, the movement of vehicular traffic is often obstructed at such places.

Besides, several new tourist projects, which are coming up on both sides of the road near Sanawar village, have caused extensive damage to the existing road. Muck excavated from hills has been callously dumped along the valleys while the movement of heavy machinery has damaged culverts as well as potable drinking water pipes. Even signage erected by panchayats informing local residents about government schemes have been damaged by reckless muck dumping along the roads.

The field staff of the Public Works Department (PWD), supposed to check the violations, has been reduced to a mute spectator and failed to ensure that no construction is carried out within the acquired width of the road. The lax attitude of the PWD staff has emboldened the investors who have conveniently encroached upon parapets by raising boundary walls. This has further shrunk the width of the Dharampur-Kasauli and Dharampur-Sanawar roads.

Executive Engineer, PWD, Kasauli Division, ML Sharma said that notices have been served on such hoteliers though he did not divulge how many notices and for what duration have been issued. He added that they have been given time to rectify the wrongs.

A hotelier has dug up the Sanawar-Dharampur road along the valley side to create parking for his seven-storey hotel. “The state government has failed to expand civic amenities in decades even as a phenomenal growth of tourist resorts has been registered,” says Anil, a local realtor.

“What is surprising is that how no road has been widened nor any new potable water scheme added in the last several decades in this division,” he adds.

The memorandums of understanding for 15 new tourism projects were signed with the state government in its the 2019 Global Investors’ Meet for the Kasauli area.

With successive governments failing to give attention to shrinking roads, traffic snarls have become an everyday affair, rues Manish Kumar, a local.

Tribune Shorts


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