Night curfew plays spoilsport in Manali

1,765 vehicles cross Atal Tunnel I No HPTDC events due to Covid curbs

Night curfew plays spoilsport in Manali

Tourists enjoy snow on the New Year's eve near Manali on Thursday.

Abhinav Vashisht

KULLU, DECEMBER 31

Despite a heavy tourist rush, the New Year celebrations were a low-key affair in Manali due to the curfew after 10 pm due to Covid-19.

The administration used to arrange bonfires on the Mall Road and a large number of tourists used to dance to the DJ beats till late night, but this year tourists had to conclude celebrations before 10 pm. The indoor parties were restricted to only 50 persons and DJs in such places were only allowed as per guidelines.

The Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (HPTDC) did not organise events for visitors at Club House. Anil Taneja, DGM, HPTDC, Manali, said the New Year queen competition and various competitions for children had been cancelled. He said all hospitality units had been witnessing 100 per cent occupancy for the past three days till January 3.

Kullu SP Gaurav Singh said teams had been deployed to monitor gatherings and ensure adherence of Covid norms. About 35 volunteers and over 250 police personnel were there to ensure compliance of Covid rules in Manali, Solang, Dhundi, Naggar, Kasol, Manikaran, etc. Tourist vehicles were allowed to go to the Solang Nullah and through Atal Tunnel till 3 pm. A large number of revellers enjoyed snow despite being stuck in traffic at some places.

Lahaul and Spiti SP Manav Verma said vehicles were allowed till the Sissu helipad and were sent back at 5 pm. He said 1,765 vehicles crossed Atal Tunnel.

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