Tourist footfall goes up, traffic jams return to Dharamsala

Tourist footfall goes up, traffic jams return to Dharamsala

Traffic jam in McLeodganj on the eve of Christmas.

Lalit Mohan

Tribune News Service

Dharamsala, December 24

With the influx of tourists for New Year celebrations, traffic jams have returned to upper Dharamsala areas, including Bhagsunag and Dharamkot. Hoteliers in the region are blaming the police for the “poor” traffic management.

Parking pangs

  • Hoteliers say haphazard parking along roads and encroachments by traders must be removed for smooth traffic flow. They blame police for not managing the traffic effectively
  • Room occupancy is 50%, which is expected to reach 70% by the year-end. Hoteliers want more parking areas for tourists

Ashwani Bamba, president of the Upper Dharamsala Hotel and Restaurant Association, said, “Yesterday evening, there was no cop managing the traffic on the main square of Mcleodganj, resulting in a traffic jam for over an hour. We have requested police officials to deploy adequate number of cops for traffic management in Mcleodganj area.”

Sources say the police are resorting to allowing only one-side traffic at a time in Mcleodganj, but this is not working as more traffic jams are being witnessed. Hoteliers say allowing only one side of traffic at a time is not a solution. “No parking should be ensured along the road. Encroachments by shopkeepers on narrow roads should be removed,” they say.

Parking by locals along Dharamkot road is the key reason for traffic woes. The scene is no different on the Bhagsu road. Residents also want no entry for buses and mini buses on the Mcleodganj road. They say heavy vehicles should be allowed only till Dharamsala and tourists should take up further journey in small vehicles.

There was a proposal to create a multilevel parking near the Dalai Lama temple under the Smart City scheme. However, the work is yet to start. A multilevel parking plan was there for Bhagsunag, but the land on which it was to be constructed turned out to be forest land on revenue papers. There is no standing tree on the land. It has been concretised for parking for long. The authorities have not got the land out of forest category.

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