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Posted at: Nov 13, 2018, 1:02 AM; last updated: Nov 13, 2018, 2:47 PM (IST)

Snarl-ups hassle Shimla tourists

Four-laning work on Parwanoo national highway a headache for visitors
Snarl-ups hassle Shimla tourists
Vehicles stuck in a traffic jam in Shimla on Monday. Photo: Amit Kanwar

Bhanu P Lohumi

Tribune News Service

Shimla, November 12

Frequent traffic jams on the Shimla-Parwanoo national highway and in the “Queen of Hills” have become a cause for concern for the tourism industry as it is impacting the tourist inflow.

Tourists coming to Shimla face traffic snarls from Timber Trail as the highway is under construction. Moreover, entering Shimla during weekends has become a tedious task, with traffic congestion becoming a headache in the city as well as the suburbs like Dhalli and Kufri.

“Shimla has more or less become Delhi, where long traffic jams welcome visitors,” a tourist from New Delhi Nitesh Sharma said. “During my four-day visit to the state capital, I remained stuck in traffic jams for three day,” he added.

“The purpose of enjoying a hassle-free weekend in Shimla is spoilt due to traffic snarls. Moreover, we had to adjust our programmes as per the convenience of taxi drivers who said if you wish to visit the Jakhoo temple or Kufri, start at 7 or 8 am to avoid heavy rush,” another tourist from Ludhiana Puneet Singh said.

Shimla witnessed a good footfall during Diwali and hoteliers had a good business as the room occupancy increased to 90 per cent, but the tourism stakeholders, who are pinning hope on winter for a good season, are apprehensive due to the poor condition of roads, traffic congestion and inadequate parking.

Another problem is roadside parking with same entry and exit points.

“Tourism contributes 6.6 per cent of the State Gross Domestic Product (SGDP) and efforts should be made to make the stay of tourists comfortable,” president of the Tourism Industry Stakeholders Association MK Seth said.

Alternative routes should be created, only one-way traffic should be allowed on specific roads during the tourist season and the state government should take up the matter of delay with the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) executing the road projects.

“We will urge the state government to ensure that one patch of the road is completed before cutting of trees and hills,” he added.

Congestion a pain

  • Tourists coming to Shimla face traffic snarls from Timber Trail as the highway is under construction
  • Moreover, entering Shimla during weekends has become a tedious task, with traffic congestion becoming a headache in the city as well as the suburbs like Dhalli and Kufri.

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