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Manali roads choked by vehicles as plains heat up

Successive governments failed to develop road infra, parking space

Manali roads choked by vehicles as plains heat up

Vehicles stuck in a traffic jam on Hadimba road in Manali. Tribune photo



Abhinav Vashisht

Kullu, March 31

With tourists thronging Manali to escape the heat of plains, traffic jams have become a norm here. Roads leading to Manali town, Van Vihar, Hadimba temple, Club House, Vashisht hot springs and Nehru Kund are the busiest with tourist vehicles remaining stuck for hours together.

A Manali resident, Harish, said the road infrastructure had not been developed over the years to cope with the increasing rush of tourists. The problem of jams had escalated in the past one decade, he said, adding that the successive governments had failed to enhance the carrying capacity of the tourist town.

He said the government earned a huge revenue from Manali, but a little had been done to develop the infrastructure of the region.

Rajiv, a tourist, said he spent more time stuck in traffic jams than at places of tourist interest. He alleged that there was almost no traffic police to regulate vehicular movement to various tourist hotspots around Manali.

Shashi, another resident of the area, said vehicles parked on the roadside add to the woes of the visitors and locals. He said the parking space in Manali town was inadequate to cater to the growing number of tourist vehicles and taxis. Moreover, efforts had not been made to develop more parking areas, he said, calling for adequate parking facilities at tourist hotspots.

Though additional police force is deployed during the tourist season to regulate the traffic, they, too, remain helpless given the existing road infrastructure, which has remained more or less the same for over decades.

Nitin, a local, said more police personnel should be deployed at traffic bottlenecks to maintain the smooth flow of traffic. He said violators, especially those who jump lanes, should be penalised.

In July 2015, taking a serious note of the traffic problem in Manali, the Himachal Pradesh High Court had recommended transfer of the Kullu SP and directed the state to replace him with a “dynamic” officer. The court had directed the Advocate General to file a status report indicating the mechanism in place to check the traffic congestion in Manali.

#Kullu #Manali


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