Rush at Parwanoo barrier as tourists head for Himachal

Hotel occupancy reaches 50 to 70 pc in last fortnight in Kasauli

Ambika Sharma

Tribune News Service

Solan, June 13

Huge rush of tourist vehicles was visible at the inter-state barriers at Parwanoo on Sunday following the easing of restrictions in the neighbouring states.

With mercury rising in the plains tourists were heading to the hills to beat the summer heat. Residents from neighbouring states of Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh were among those who were arriving in large numbers.

Maximum vehicles bound for Himachal had lined up at the barrier along the national highway near Timber Trail Resorts, while the other one located near Kalka on the state highway saw fewer vehicles comparatively.

Tourist vehicles line up along the Kalka-Shimla national highway. Tribune photo

Tourists entering the state are required to register themselves on the Covid e-pass software and these passes are scanned by the police staff deputed at the barriers. “An overwhelming rush of tourist vehicles has been witnessed since last evening with nearly 5,000 vehicles having entered through Parwanoo as against about 3,000-3,500 vehicles registered last week,” said Parwnaoo DSP Yogesh Rolta.

He added that additional staff was deputed at the barrier to scan the e-passes in view of the huge influx. Since e-passes are scanned by the police staff at the barriers, a long queue of vehicles created a traffic chaos. Vehicles bound for the hills had lined up in multiple queues spread for kilometres.

Traffic staff had an arduous task in scanning all passes as a sudden rush of vehicles left them exhausted. Those entering the state without passes were also manually registered which further added to the chaos.

Staff at the Sanwara-based toll plaza also confirmed that about 1,500 to 2,000 more vehicles have entered the state this weekend vis-à-vis last week. “The vehicle influx has increased tremendously this weekend vis-à-vis last week as tourists are heading for the hills to beat the summer heat,” said Balwinder Singh, Project In-charge, GR Infra Projects, which was four-laning this highway.

Meanwhile, hoteliers received a big boost with their occupancy reaching 50 to 70 per cent in the last fortnight at Kasauli. Rocky Chimni, vice president, Kasauli Residents and Hoteliers Association, said, “Tourist influx, especially during the weekends, has gone up to 70 per cent and it will improve further with stipulation of RT-PCR having been done away with from tomorrow. Rates had been lowered from 20 to 30 per cent to lure tourists and usual business would resume soon.”

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